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Book publication “Miquel Barceló – Kiwayu”, 2022

On the occasion of the exhibition “Kiwayu” we published a book with texts by Miquel Barceló and Paul Bowles. Bowles, besides being a friend of Barceló, also shared the experience of living on an exotic and unknown island in Taprobane, Sri Lanka, in 1956.

Taprobane Island view

(…) I explored Ceylon and became acquainted with its magical mornings and its incomparable sunsets. Early morning, once the mist is gone, the loveliness of the land is in full focus, and color and form are clearest; as the day progresses the increased light tends to blur both. The sunsets, particularly on the coast, are vast, breathtaking productions which last only a few minutes. The months passed. I moved from place to place, continually finding each new one better than the others, but wishing there might be some spot with which I could identify myself through ownership. The memory, however, does not relinquish its images so readily; the photographs with their casuarina trees, balustrades, breaking surf and curving palm-fringed shore line remained in my head, and on my next trip to Ceylon I made a point of going to Weligama rest House, on the shore facing the island. From here I could look straight across into the sunny verdure opposite, and I determined to explore the place. (…)

Fragment from How to live on a part-time Island

Paul Bowles


Paul Bowles at  Taprobane Island, 1955 © Paul Bowles.

Paul Bowles (Jamaica, 1910-Tanger 1999) writer of novels, short stories, poetry and travel literature, he also wrote music for operas, musicals, ballet pieces and plays by various authors such as Tennessee Williams, Jean Cocteau and Lilliam Hellman. He collaborated in the music of film soundtracks with Orson Welles, John Huston or Elia Kazan. Supported by Gertrude Stein, in the 50’s he met the Lost Generation in Paris. He also participated in the beat and underground movements of the 70s. A tireless traveler, he is one of the most relevant intellectual figures of the 20th century.