Mariana Duarte Santos

Her work is figurative. The themes in which she works are mainly focused on the concepts of memory, collective identity and local histories, which is why archival images are key in her work.

For the Oviedo mural we wanted to portray the countrywomen who go down to Fontán twice a week to sell the vegetables, legumes, and fruits that they grow in their gardens and farms. It´s a tradition that goes back centuries, and which maintains the most direct and personal trade possible.

For her work, Mariana started from a 1968 photograph by Francisco Ruiz Tilve from the photographic archive of the Museo del Pueblo de Asturias and she was able to meet the photographer’s family. The Portuguese artist also visited the street market with Ula Halszka and Celia Viada, who are making a documentary project entitled “Gregoria”, which covers the daily life of one of the Fontán women.

A granddaughter of the vendor who appears on the mural recognized her, first in a Facebook group, and later, when passing by on the street where the work is located, and she contacted Parees.

The woman in the mural is María Jovellanos García, now deceased. Originally from the region of Aller, she settled in Oviedo when she was young and after the Civil War she began to sell in the Plaza de El Fontán, where she worked for more than forty years taking the same place in the Plaza every day. One of those days, Francisco Ruiz Tilve took the photograph, which 54 years later served as the inspiration for Mariana Duarte in her tribute to the market sellers.