9 may 2018

Striking new artwork in AIL Madrid's calle O´Donnell school

The classrooms in our O’Donnell centre have recently been adorned with striking new artwork from Madrid’s local up and coming artist, Raquel Portillo Caballero. Each classroom now houses a unique design portraying one of the central feature of each of the Spanish cities that our classrooms are named after. Our classrooms are colour coordinated with each one having a common colour in the wall painting, Raquel’s artwork and the flooring, the result being the most aesthetically stylish classrooms in Spain. We are convinced that having well decorated and attractive classrooms adds to our engaging atmosphere and inspires students think more creatively, perform at their best and learn more. 

Bilbao’s Cultural Passion 

Raquel chose to portray Bilbao’s most iconic feature, The Guggenheim, and the piece certainly gives the magnificent building the justice it deserves. Against a red, faded background, the metallic building stands tall; its angular construction standing out to the viewer, thanks to Raquel’s textured style. The light and dark shading presents the magnitude of the building as it dominates over the city, taking up the majority of the painting.

A Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

The most impressive sight in Santiago de Compostela is the Cathedral; so of course, Raquel bases her design on this, helping our students to gain a greater knowledge of Spain as a whole. The antiquity of the city is shown clearly here, as Raquel uses a pastel, watercolour style design, positioning a walking stick with scallop shells at the forefront of the image, to represent the pilgrimages that continue to take place along the Camino de Santiago. Rather than detracting from the Cathedral, the walking stick only adds interest for the viewer and focuses greater attention onto the spectacle itself. 

Power, Wisdom and Science in Granada 

Granada would not be the city that it is, without the Alhambra casting its shadow over the uncomplicated white dwellings below. Raquel’s pink background features the Patio de Los Leones within the walls of the building. The depiction is majestic, and characterizes the outline of a crown, as water spurts out of the fountain, imparting a regal countenance onto the piece.  

The Art of Sevilla

This design differs from Raquel´s other productions, simply as it portrays a woman in flamenco dress to symbolize Seville as opposed to painting its main physical attraction, as seen in the other paintings around our school. Interestingly, Raquel omits all features from the woman so there is no doubt that she is representative of the essence of Seville as an entirety. The style is dramatic, the red contrasting against a yellow, ageing, slightly tarnished, background, which adds to the longevity of the tradition, that Raquel focuses our gaze on. Seville, apart from being a beautiful city is accompanied by rich and dynamic culture, as shown in the artwork. 

Flying over Málaga 

The beautiful coastal city is also home to a cosmopolitan buzz, attracting visitors from around the world. The perspective here is from above, presenting the city in a purple hue, which transmits a magnificent gleam across the coastal wall. Perhaps this shows the cities progression, which began at the coast and spread inwards through its 3,000 years of history. In the centre of the landscape image, the Roman Theatre stands out, signifying the extent of the city’s historical past. On the right side of the painting, the Alcazaba, a fortified palace gives an example of the strong Arab roots that the city holds onto. 

Gaudi’s Barcelona 

Gaudi’s presence resonates throughout Barcelona, and it is difficult to avoid his impressive architecture when visiting the city. Raquel paints Casa Batlló, the length of it scaling vertically across the entire painting. Raquel mutes the vibrant colours of Gaudi’s sculpture, picturing a more simplistic Casa Batlló. The building is not distinctive; instead, its edges are blurred, perhaps so that the painting is representative of Gaudi’s influence upon Barcelona as a whole. 

Valencia: The City of Science 

Valencia is a city of two halves: that of the ancient town and seaside contrasted with the innovative, modern construction of the Science Museum, surrounded by gardens that have been converted from the mouth of the River. The pink background, dappled with yellow markings, represents the history of the city. The skeletal style of the museum that Raquel depicts, may represent the clash between old and new life, as the museum imposes a futuristic sentiment upon the heart of Valencia. 

Segovia and it’s Never Ending Aqueduct 

One of Raquel’s most simplistic designs, the Aqueduct in Segovia, is painted in deep yellows and golds, harking back to the Roman times in which it was built. Light coloration emphasises the sunlight that perforates through the arches of the feature and the perspective that Raquel creates, portrays the expanse of the construction, as it continues to elongate through the city into the distance. After all, the Aqueduct was built with 25,000 granite blocks and at its tallest it reaches a height of 28.5m, so cannot be missed! 

León: Colour and Innovation 

Raquel depicts the Museum of Contemporary Art, Leon’s most modern attraction and perhaps one of the most modern buildings within Raquel’s “AIL Madrid Collection”. The original building is made-up of individual, distinctive blocks of colour, differing in many ways from Raquel’s portrayal, where the overall coloration is darker and the blocks of colours are blurred into one another. The shadow effect surrounding the building suggest its great size. 

Centuries of culture in Salamanca 

Raquel illustrates the magnitude of the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, through a distanced perspective that is transmitted through the arches that appear at the forefront of the photo. Not only is Raquel’s design effective visually, it also simulates the magnitude and symmetrical nature of the structure. The image also bears a doctoral sentiment, as the city is most famous for its university, one of the oldest in Europe and still today, the city is internationally recognised as a seat of learning of the highest standard. The construction of the university is so intricate that there are many hidden gems upon the exterior wall for visitors to spot. 

Córdoba’s Picturesque Patios 

The dry heat of Córdoba in the summer months forced its inhabitants to adjust their style of living, adding open patios into their houses. Here, the patios appear enchanting and contain botanical aspects. The green colours within the work present a tranquil setting where the pace of life is slow and the viewer can almost see the heat within the small garden as the sunlight transcends upon it. 

Daydreams of Cádiz 

Cádiz is thought to be the oldest city in the west, offering a lot in terms of its great history. As seen in the work, the most remarkable feature is the stretch of sea that cuts Cádiz off from the mainland. This port was used for trade with America and thus was the central hub of the city. Now, the cosmopolitan city is known for its impressive sunsets, as seen in this piece as the purple glow of the sun spreads across the cathedral in an elegant fashion.

See Raquel’s original work

Please visit us in Calle O’Donnell 27 and see these magnificent works of art anytime from Monday to Friday between 5pm and 7pm.

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