I've recently discovered that architecture can be proof of crossing borders... At first glance, Sevilla, Spain appears to be a typical European city, with its cobblestone streets, numerous cafes, and immaculate architecture. However, after studying abroad here for two months now, I’m beginning to realize it’s not so purely European after all. I’ve come to learn that Sevilla has a unique history, full of alternating empires, contrasting religions, and, above all, diverse artistic influences. Existing under centuries of Roman, Visigothic, Moorish, and finally Spanish rule, Sevilla’s architecture and public art have evolved into a one-of-a-kind melting pot that combines many influences. The main cathedral that looks so typically European from a distance actually incorporates Muslim designs and even stands on ancient Roman foundations to this day. There are mosques within cathedrals and Roman ruins within Spanish government buildings. The Sevillian aesthetic is completely unique because it embraces its complicated and diverse history.
Art is an expression of inspiration, often a marriage of multiple cultures, combining contrasting traditions and styles. It is often up to the artist whether or not to embrace these multiple factors. Does your culture and history show through your art? Is it affected by your heritage or your country’s history?