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Berta De La Rosa publishes Getsemaní

Berta De La Rosa publishes Getsemaní
Getsemaní, Berta De La Rosa.

Berta De La Rosa publishes her first art book entitled Getsemaní.


In a time when manual work has almost disappeared, the handpicking of manzanilla olives is still one of the ancient traditions that sustains many villages in the South of Spain.


Getsemaní explores the tight relationship that workers establish with trees during the gathering process and emphasises the mutual dependence they have on each others future. The crisis in the agricultural sector is changing the mediterranean landscape since farmers have opted to uproot manzanilla olive trees to replace them with other overproduction plantations.



Getsemaní, Berta De La Rosa.  



"Olive trees have always been present in my Mediterranean and Christian background, they are my roots. My grandmother lived in a county state farm whose workers and machinery backdropped my childhood. 1265 is the number of manzanilla olive trees my father planted when I was born in January 1984. He called these trees ‘Las Bertitas’ (the little Bertas) and since then I grew up by the hand of a changing landscape that became the roots of my past", says De La Rosa. 


When the artist heard these trees might disappear, she went back to Spain to document the memories of her childhood rooted to the ground.


"Getsemaní (Spanish term of Gethsemane) refers to a holy place, which is the vanishing landscape I belong to, and a forthcoming tragedy, which is the betrayal to our trees, traditions and roots."


The name of the project comes from a spiritual bouquet Berta found by chance in her grandfather’s wallet at the time she went to Spain. The bouquet was from the ‘Garden of Gethsemane’ or the ‘Garden of the Olives’ in Jerusalem, and it had a pray for ‘the dying souls’ next to a leaf of one of its venerable olive trees. This was revealing to the artist as Gethemane is a sacred place for Christians which echoes death and betrayal.



Getsemaní, Berta De La Rosa.



About the book


Self-published by the artist, Berta De La Rosa
Hand made and painted box
18.5 x 14.5 cm
48 pages / 22 colour photographs printed on fine art paper
Hand painted, cut and bound
ED 50, signed
Price £220


Images courtesy of the artist. 

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