These oil-pastel drawings are part of an illustrated record of the community-built neighbourhoods on the three highest hills above Barcelona. Many of the houses on the hills started as ‘barraques’ or shacks, built from found materials by Spanish immigrants over 60 years ago who endured dire living conditions.

Barcelona palm oil painting
barcelona hill oil painting

Those who managed to stay and improve the houses and neighbourhood are now faced with ongoing city plans for a bigger park, and the impending return of mass tourism means the existence of around 300 of these homes is now threatened.
After over a year living in El Carmel during the pandemic I became familiar with the quirks and histories of the area and began a series for a short book before demolition plans are most likely put back in motion and tourism continues to alter the landscape.

barcelona hill oil painting
Barcelona building oil painting
Barcelona building oil painting
elcaf festival prints

Process sketches

Illustration

Ciara Quilty-Harper

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