The historic city of Toledo in the heart of the Iberian peninsula stands above the fast flowing waters of the River Tagus. It was first settled, and later flourished, because of the river. Its citizens drew water up into the body of the city, its fountains, cisterns and baths.
In making Tres Aguas – A Project for Toledo, her most ambitious work to date, Cristina Iglesias has drawn both on the rich cultural history of Toledo—the intermingling of Moorish, Jewish and Christian cultures who lived together for centuries under the period known as La Convivencia—and on the setting of the city above the river.
Conceived as a journey into the heart of the city, Iglesias’ work offers a sequence of dynamic perspectives and reflective experiences. Visitors move from a Mudéjar Torre de Aguas (water tower) by the 18th century Fábrica de Armas (Weapons Factory), along the banks of the river into one of the main public spaces in the city, the Plaza del Ayuntamiento by the Cathedral and then to a hidden place within the normally closed Convento Santa Clara.
Iglesias’s large-scale sculpture project integrates the durable materials of architecture and sculpture—stone and metal—with the fluid and ever-changing element of water. The water courses through channels and is sucked like a vortex into the ground, animating the shimmering surfaces of the sculptures which resemble the overgrown bed of an ancient river.
With Iglesias’s work for the city of Toledo, it seems as if the river itself has been incorporated into her multi-site sculpture, bringing new life into the body of the historic city.
Commissioned by Artangel and El Greco 2014 Foundation Sponsored by Acciona and Liberbank Commissioned with the support of Artangel International Circle and the Tres Aguas Patrons Group Presented in association with the Ayuntamiento de Toledo and the University of Castilla – La Mancha.
Cristina Iglesias Tres Aguas – A project for Toledo 7 April 2014–ongoing