Meet Ima Picó, a visual artist and digital muralist who was born and raised in Valencia, Spain but who’s now based in Manchester, UK. She also has two blogs–her own, and one called blackduck. Ima curated and coordinated the Spanish work in the Transfer Lounge show in Valencia (along with Toni Calderón). The day I met her, the US curator and I had headed over to the gallery space at Forja ArteContemporáneo to begin installing the show. The day after I met Ima, she brought this bell to Forja, and began to help connect me to other Valencians who would contribute ringtones to the project. I am so grateful to her for being a special Locally Toned ringtone agent in Valencia!
I was delighted when Ima told me she was ready to make a tone immediately. She produced this little bell, and explained that numerous people (especially little children) ring these bells the second Sunday every year for the veneration/festival of Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Forsaken or Homeless). The Señora is the patron saint of Valencia, and as I read elsewhere, she was originally the patron saint of a 15th-century society dedicated to the care of the homeless and mentally ill in Valencia.
The next day I met Ima’s friend Sonia, who lives in Valencia and works as a costume supervisor for films and publicity shoots. She brought two beautiful antique campanillas with her to turn into ringtones.
Thanks very much to Ima and Sonia for this gentle answer to the question, What does Valencia sound like? You’ll be reading more about them (and our ringtone-making shenanigans) in the next post!