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In July 2003 I became an artist in residence in Callosa d'en Sarria in Spain, offered to me by a Cultural Foundation (Fundacion Cultural 'Knecht - Drenth'). Upon arrival in my residence I realized immediately that the view could be dramatically improved upon. The barred window on the ground floor offered me a view into a narrow street; the roof terrace offered a view on a mountainous landscape which could be 'brushed up' as well.I decided to change the landscape artistically.

It took some time to persuade the local population but within a week they assisted me enthusiastically. The project inspired men and women, children and the elderly from early morning till late in the evening to move back and fro with masts, cables, pickets and large quantities of canvas, which in different circumstances is used to protect the orchards against the burning sun.

After the local population finished their part, it was my turn to set to work. After an intense period of painting, a renewed landscape revealed itself:


The population was ecstatic. They came out in throngs to my roof terrace (the only place from which the Grand Panorama came out really well) to enjoy the improved landscape.

All this changed however with the storms of the 24th of July which destroyed all the improvements we imposed on nature. These storms convinced me that even nature is subject to inconsequential behavior resulting from jealousy. Again the local population - unfazed by their loss - helped me out admirably by clearing the ruined materials. In no time masts, ropes, painted canvas were cleared and stored in an untraceable place. This fills me with hope and anticipation that one day a hillside orchard will be covered with a reflection of the facing mountain.

augustus 2003, Tom S. Hageman