Agua, ¿dónde vas?” ( Water, where do you go?)

Francisco Gomez de Villaboa

2017 - Ongoing

Water emerges from everywhere. And feelings, moments, and lives come and go in the blink of an eye.

This submission is a personal project about “beginning and end”. The fluidity of bodies and minds. It’s about my roots of Andalucia and how I actually feel disconnected from them. It is about growth and an evolving vision of human relationships - either with family or strangers.


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  • This portrait of Alejandro was taken while helping to his mother and, to raise funds for the pets shelter they run in Sanlucar de Barrameda in October 2018. The ships in the background feel threatening. The contemporary Spanish flag its seen as a representation of a monarchy installed by quite a successful dictatorship and so it does not represent the plurality of Spain. Together with the far-right movements arising in Spain, this image can represent how the ghosts of the past might still be there haunting new generations.

  • “Growth” (Diptych)

    Left: Jorge born in February 2017 was the youngest member of the
    family when this image was taken during the Summer of 2018.

    Right: My mother “Manolita” (February 1941 - April 2019) taking some flowers from the neighbour’s garden, December 2017.

  • “Water games - Manuela, Alfredo
    & Alex"
    In my coastal hometown of
    Rota (which is the feminine for
    “broken) water is part of our life
    and culture. Families and friends
    get together enjoying the heat and sunny weather.

    Left: Manolita’s hand holding a
    picture of her with Alfredo on the
    beach in 1975.

    Right: Alejandro, Alfredo’s single
    child pouring water. “Ale” was
    born deaf and with mental
    disabilities.

  • “Untanned love”

    I meet this teenager couple in the beach of Sanlucar de Barrameda. I had recently split with my ex-boyfriend. Seeing such a loving young couple made me wonder of the possible struggles and chain of this young love.

  • “The Threat”
    Left: House name “Las Marismas” or The Marshes.

    Right: Victoriano standing at the door of the family house built in
    1983. “Victor”, 42 years old, could never achieve independence so he is living with our dad Paco. At the time of this picture our mother was
    still alive and he spoke about the fear of losing her. The possibility
    of losing a relative is a constant fear and pain we experience either close by or far away.

  • "Bodies" - The relationship with our bodies would affect to our entire lives.

  • "Wasted love" - Its common men behaviour to spend the day drinking at the bar. to arrive home at night.

  • “Content Water - Don Francisco o Paco” (Diptych)
    Right: Don Francisco was born the year that Franco won the war (1937), he grew up under the mojo "Franco is your grandad".
    Francisco was one of primary school teachers of my town Rota. I always saw that he was
    very easy to please and content.

  • “Dolores”
    Left: Dolores is a traditional Spanish name that means “Pains”. It comes from
    “La Virgen de Los Dolores” (Our Lady of Sorrows). Dolores was the Mother of Antonio, my sister’s ex-husband. Dolores
    died two month after I took this picture due to a long battle with cancer.

  • “Manolita Kissing Jesusito”
    Left: This picture of my mother was taken the 24 of December 2018 at 23:45. The tradition at home is to kiss the baby Jesus at midnight before putting it on the nativity scene together with the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the rest of the figurines. After 3 months of different chemotherapy treatments for her liver cancer, my mother was
    exhausted at 11pm and I took her to bed with my dad. And I brought the baby Jesus figurine, which she kissed saying: “Jesusito, Jesusito, in eighteen (2018) you have not behaved very good So I’m going to give you more kisses this time, hoping you are good and you let me stay during the nineteen.” (Jesusito = Baby Jesus or Little Jesus)

    “Holding onto Baby Jesus”
    Right: Although I do not feel catholic or even Christian anymore I do have an attachment and love for the traditions I grew up with.
    I’ve always helped my mum to put up the nativity scene. And I think presenting my mums tradition in this way is my way of continue her legacy.

  • “Out of Breath” (Diptych)
    Left: Mum out of breath after going to the toilet.

    Right: Water flowing out of Roman fishing weirs. Part of Rota’s cultural and coast treasure, these are large ancient stone structures that allow the water and fish in when the tide is high - and as the tide goes down the water goes as well, leaving the trapped fish behind.


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