Ojo de Martinazo, Doñana Nature Reserve, Huelva



The image of the oasis has formed part of our imagination since
time immemorial. It is the place where we arrive after long days
of hardship and from where we will leave tomorrow to continue
our journey, because life is nothing more than this affair of always
being on the road. Suddenly one would like to have arrived by
that path and be there, on the banks of that eye of water with its
green pupil, and with the surrounding shade, the refuge, the brief
paradise of our forced march. And to be eternal at least for a day.

Luis Landero




Ojo de Martinazo, Doñana Nature Reserve, Huelva
37º 01’ 12.48’’ N 6º 26’ 11.45’’ W / May 19, 2008
Ojo (‘eye’) is the vernacular name given to a permanent natural
spring of freshwater in Doñana fed by deep aquifers that surface
in the wetland. The one in the photograph forms part a group of
ojos located on the bank of the Martinazo. At the deepest point of
the spring, there is a small formation of bulrushes (Scirpus
littoralis) that, from the air, looks like an iris, while around the
spring, there is an abundant reed bed (Juncus acutus) crossed by
paths formed by the constant movement of fauna.
Protection status: Doñana Nature Space. National Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Island of El Trocadero, Puerto Real, Cádiz


How to define the beauty that bursts forth from the order of
complexity, the structure of irregularity, the simplicity of
sophistication. All represented here.
Absolute opposites gathered together in an infinite way. It is like
seeing the insides of myself. Savoring my vital and palpitating
landscape of mud and water. Welcoming reencounters with fertile
and suggestive volumes.

Odile Rodríguez de la Fuente




Island of El Trocadero, Puerto Real, Cádiz
36º 30’ 32.35’’ N 6º 12’ 27.77’’ W / November 24, 2005
Island associated with the channel of the same name formed by
fluvial-marine deposits of a sandy mud nature, which give rise to
wetlands under tidal influence. The photograph shows deposits
of mud and sands in a phase of flooding, modeled by a
meandering hydrological network in which a primary and
secondary network can be distinguished.
Protection status: Bay of Cádiz Nature Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Island of Enmedio,Wetlands of El Odiel, Huelva


The medium is the message. Middle age is not the Middle Ages.
A holographic tree down below, like the traces of glaciations.
Shade in sunny wetlands, fixed with Imedio glue, the stuff made
in Calzada de Calatrava, the town of Pedro Almodóvar and my
grandmother Carmen. Island of Enmedio, barefoot road.

Francisco Correal




Island of Enmedio,Wetlands of El Odiel, Huelva
37º 14’ 26.33’’ N 6º 59’ 15.79’’ W / December 19, 2005
Island formed by a sedimentary process at the confluence of the
Tinto and Odiel rivers and by the force of the tides. The
diversification of the hydrographic network defines a dendrifrorm
morphology around which vegetation formations are distributed,
as shown in the photograph. The inter-tidal zones have been
covered by green algae.
Protection status: Island of
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Mineral Washing Plant in Tharsis, Aljaraque, Huelva


The rejection of modern art by some has always seemed strange
to me, as if abstraction didn’t form part of an unconscious
creative process. I think now, in view of these incredible images,
that what is truly strange is the effort by some to solely and
faithfully reproduce conventional reality. Does the Earth know
that it produces art?
There is a striking resemblance between the immense seen from
above and the miniscule enlarged thousands of times. The
response to the same forces on different scales. That apparent
chaos of fluids in search of a path, whether in the wetlands or in
the tissues of the body, is a form of gestural art, the ‘action
painting’ of Nature and the ‘fluxus’ of Beuys and Vostell. Art
integrated into daily acts.

Juan Varela Simó




Mineral Washing Plant in Tharsis, Aljaraque, Huelva
37º 16’ 21.75’’ N 6º 59’ 03.728’’ W / December 19, 2005
Wetland adjacent to the former mineral washing plant of the
Mines of Tharsis, closed since the decade of the 1990s. Traces of
sulfur, copper and other minerals dug up and deposited here over
the last 100 years have dyed this wetland and offer the chromatic
beauty demonstrated by the photograph, whose colors and
distribution suggest the appearance of an oil painter’s palette.
Protection status: Wetlands of El Odiel Nature Reserve.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Island of Enmedio,Wetlands of Odiel, Huelva


Grey stains have appeared in the foliage of the Tree of Life. Stains
of death and darkness. Grey stains of Man, the one who tramples,
who poisons everything, kills, pulls out, burns. Grey stains have
appeared in the foliage of the Tree of Life and its leaves are
crying. Perhaps these cries will wake Man up and he will
understand that he will die if the tree falls. Perhaps he will mature
and leave behind his devastating infancy. Perhaps he won’t die.

Diego Escarlón



Island of Enmedio,Wetlands of Odiel, Huelva
37º 13’ 55.327’’ N 6º 58’ 57.48’’ W / December 19, 2005
Island formed by a sedimentary process at the confluence of the
Tinto and Odiel rivers and by the force of the tides. The image
shows a detail of the diversification of the drainage network in
respect to the surrounding organization based on primary
channels, which offers a suggestive appearance. The green color
in the inter-tidal zones is produced by enteromorpha algae.
Protection status: Island of Enmedio Nature Reserve. Wetlands
of El Odiel Nature Site.
Photo© Héctor Garrido

Veta la Palma, Puebla del Río, Seville


Living and inert matter as inextricably united realities. The biotic
and abiotic processes as phenomenon that have been intimately
associated for billions of years. The principal icon of animate
beings, the Tree of Life, gracefully sculpted by water on the
surface of Gaia.

José Luis Sanz



Veta la Palma, Puebla del Río, Seville
36º 56’ 54.91’’ N 6º 14’ 36.89’’ W / June 12, 2008
Recent drainage of an aquatic farming pool on the Veta la Palma
estate dedicated to extensive aquaculture of estuary fish. The
dynamic of the flow toward a single drainage point, salinity and
the differential composition of water on dry ground have drawn
the arboreal form that appears in the photograph.
Protection status: Doñana Nature Space. Doñana Nature Park.
Photo© Héctor Garrido

Veta la Palma, Puebla del Río, Seville



The language of water is similar in art and nature. In a
watercolor, the expression of its beauty depends on the artist’s
intention, the texture and composition of the support, the
amount of paint on the brush, the intensity of the stroke…
Nature, obedient to the established laws, draws in apparent
distraction a sketch that is, in and of itself, intrinsically lovely.

Regla Alonso Miura



Veta la Palma, Puebla del Río, Seville
36º 57’ 39.74’’ N 6º 13’ 25.15’’ W / September 18, 2008
Drainage of a fish farming pool of the Veta la Palma estate
dedicated to extensive aquaculture of estuary fish. The
confluence of the currents toward a single drainage point
distributes the water over the muddy surface, offering the
appearance of a ‘neuronal synapse’ shown in the photograph.
Protection status: Doñana Nature Space. Doñana Nature Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Soto Grande, Almonte, Huelva



A large tree transpires hundreds of liters of water into the
atmosphere every day. There are no trunks or branches in the
forest, but rather disguised channels along which water flows.
Liquid trunks, green crowns, the sun above… How is that? It’s
not a tree? And flowers? Horses, you say? It’s a fantasy? Will the
material of Shakespeare’s dreams turn out to be fractal?

Miguel Delibes de Castro


Soto Grande, Almonte, Huelva
36º 57’ 39.74’’ N 6º 13’ 25.15’’ W / September 18, 2007
Mouth of the stream of Soto Grande in the Madre de las
Marismas del Rocío during the first phases of flooding. The image
shows the dendriform distribution that the stream acquires as it
opens its way through the helophyte formations composed of sea
clubrush (Scirpusmaritimus), common spike rush (Elecharis
palustris) and candilejo (Juncus subulatus), with the dotted
presence of grazing horses.
Protection status: Doñana Nature Space. Doñana National Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Island of Enmedio,Wetlands of El Odiel, Huelva



Observed from the air… it looks like a fallen tree, enormous, with
a short, thick trunk forming the central section of tombs, from
which four mighty branches extend, contiguous in their origins
but which then extend through successive bifurcations until
becoming lost from sight, forming… a leafy crown in which life
and death are confused.*

José Saramago


(*: Todos los nombres)

Island of Enmedio,Wetlands of El Odiel, Huelva
37º 14’ 26.33’’ N 6º 59’ 15.79’’ W / June 8, 2004
Island formed by a sedimentary process at the confluence of the
Tinto and Odiel rivers and by the force of the tides. The
photograph shows the whimsical forms of the network of
estuaries, channels and canals modeled by sedimentary and tidal
dynamics.
Protection status: Island of Enmedio Nature Reserve. Wetlands
of El Odiel Nature Site.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Wetlands of San Fernando, Cádiz



A giant’s scribbles, a plasticine labyrinth, water serpents, a
puzzle of hope… Stories are real.

Francisco Márquez


Wetlands of San Fernando, Cádiz
36º 30’ 08.67’’ N 6º 11’ 07.64’’ W / January 23, 2006
Wetlands of tidal influence formed by deposits of mud and dirt
from the Guadalete River. The photograph shows the meandering
design of the wetland’s hydrological network. The dark colors are
produced by the activity of sulfurous bacteria that make use of
the absence of oxygen caused by the compaction of these
sediments. The intense greens are due to the enteromorpha
algae that cover the inter-tidal zones.
Protection status: Bay of Cádiz Nature Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Sancti Petri-La Barrosa, Chiclana, Cádiz



An unusual view, orthogonal, of a fractal landscape formation.
Spots of continental or island colors. Dry, purple blood over
lemon yellows and faint grays, outlined, or not, by an aqueous,
immobile and eutrophicated green. A premonition whose
meaning is only what the observer wishes to give it: the head of
a bloodless fish, polluted by one dump or other, lying in profile
like the dead figure on a medal.

Joaquín Fernández


Sancti Petri-La Barrosa, Chiclana, Cádiz
36º 24’ 55.78’’ N 6º 12’ 03.09’’ W / January 23, 2006
Deposits of fluvial-marine sediments crossed by a complex
network of secondary channels subjected to a process of
fluctuating tidal flooding. The photograph shows the leaf-like
appearance these deposits can adopt, defined by the main
channel and modeled by a sinuous secondary network covered
by green enteromorpha algae in the inter-tidal zones and by
halophyte species in the veins.
Protection status: Bay of Cádiz Nature Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Wetlands of the Tinto River, Huelva




Wetlands of the Tinto River, Huelva
There it is, with its striking script of mud and saltwort. With its
gigantic pictograms peering up at the sky. But, who, on ground
level, is aware of the keys to this coppery language? Is it the
Earth speaking? Is it the Earth writing? Who understands her
language? Who heeds her message?

José María Montero



Wetlands of the Tinto River, Huelva
37º 17’ 23.94’’ N 6º 51’ 29.19’’ W / January 23, 2006
Wetlands formed by sediments from the Tinto River over the
zone of tidal influence. The elevated content of minerals in the
waters of the Tinto River give it a chromatic tonality unique in
the world. This river, with its historic mining tradition, is an
enormous natural laboratory where scientific experiments and
research are carried out comparable to those conducted on the
planet Mars, with which it may bear a certain similarity.
Protection status: Tinto River Protected Landscape.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Channel of Sancti Petri, Chiclana, Cádiz




Channel of Sancti-Petri, Chiclana, Cádiz
They look like the circumvolutions of a brain. As mammals evolved,
the brain had to fold itself in order to increase its area without an
exaggerated growth of volume. The brain is a deflated balloon. The
wrinkles in our heads are lovely, but no one sees them.

Juan Luis Arsuaga




Channel of Sancti Petri, Chiclana, Cádiz
36º 24’ 21.49’’ N 6º 12’ 27.80’’ W / November 24, 2005
Wetlands formed by deposits of mud and sand of tidal influence.
The photograph shows a zone of confluence of currents during low
tide. The mud appears covered by green enteromorpha algae. A
flock of yellow-legged gulls (Larusmichaelis) rest and look for food.
Protection status: Bay of Cádiz Nature Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Saltworks of San Fernando, Cádiz




A network in each node,
a spiral of spirals.
The infinitesimal parts
that comprise the whole.
In each individual bend
of time, all time:
water, friction
and the banks in their scale…
And the mole on your cheek
in scale with the firmament.

Jorge Drexler



Saltworks of San Fernando, Cádiz
36º 29’ 31.52’’ N 6º 10’ 01.40’’ W / February 12, 2008
Water collection pool of an abandoned traditional saltwork. The
photograph shows the evolution of the drainage network as it
has progressively invaded the interior of the pool, from an initial,
already blurred design characterized by the artificial geometric
structure (cleanly Euclidean), to another much younger,
dendriform one of natural origin, which tends toward a fractal
structure.
Protection status: Bay of Cádiz Nature Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Saltworks of San Fernando, Cádiz


Beyond description to our retinas, the hieroglyphs invented by
the drowned wetlands reveal themselves and rebel. Sinuous
paths of chlorophyll, water and salt shown by the magic labyrinth
to the winged eye held aloft by kerosene motors. A journey
towards knowledge from the air, to the abacus that counts beaks,
feet and wings that frolic in mud and sheets of water. Where to
look for the entrance and exit to this network of green corridors.
Where does the ancient writing begin and end, the one glimpsed
by flight in tribute to science.
The feathered flamingos ignore the fact that their movement isn’t
punctuated by a pilgrimage to El Rocio, but instead by a dance
performed by them in ponds; likewise the woodcocks and geese
are unaware that their continual take offs and landings smudge
the numbers high above. Dry Doñana and drowned Doñana,
forever an asylum to grazing cows, wild horses and weatherbeaten
dwellers of the wetlands. Looking to the south, further
south, the river comes and goes, takes and gives back, and it is
always water, in the end, which shapes, which writes for the sky
and for the earth.

Mario Sáenz de Buruaga



Saltworks of San Fernando, Cádiz
36º 27’ 37.26’’ N 6º 10’ 16.45’’ W / January 23, 2006
Network of canals of the traditional saltworks. The original design
of the manmade saltworks adapts to the underlying terrain of the
150 THE FRACTAL HARMONY OF DOÑANAAND THEWETLANDS
wetlands, with interesting results. The walls have been colonized
by halophyte plants and it’s still possible to observe the ruins of
some floodgates from the original water control system.
Protection status: Bay of Cádiz Nature Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

Saltworks of San Fernando, Cádiz




The four parallel lines drawn by men of the saltworks. Four
ridges to contain the water that must evaporate there. A lack of
care, an abandonment, and the tide breaks the imposed
infrastructure, re-conquering a terrain where water packed with
life once again flows celebrating natural geometry.

Juan Manuel García Ruíz



36º 30’ 10.77’’ N 6º 10’ 37.04’’ W / November 15, 2007
Main water collection pool of an abandoned traditional saltwork.
The free circulation of water in the interior of the pool after the
destruction of the perimeter wall has progressively modeled a
dendriform hydrological network colonized by green algae, which
break the geometry of the underlying artificial structure, formed
by ridges covered by saltwort and by mud covered by saltpeter.
Protection status: Bay of Cádiz Nature Park.
© Photo: Hector Garrido

Island of El Trocadero, Puerto Real, Cádiz



Clear water in a crystal case. A dream where water flows on skin
and sprouts from pores. A wetland or a goddess, as enigmatic as
it is near. Her presence and her secrets remind me of the sea
that in my land fed hopes. A wetland capable of generating the
smell and sound of the origin of life.

Cipriano Marín



36º 31’ 22.66’’ N 6º 12’ 05.39’’ W / November 15, 2007
Island formed by fluvial-marine mud deposits that give rise to a
wetland of tidal influence. The photograph shows mud deposits
at a point of convergence of currents. The zones prone to
flooding are covered by green enteromorpha (ulvales) algae and
the veins by halophyte species. A flock of black-headed gulls
(Larus ridibundus) rest on the vein.
Protection status: Bay of Cádiz Nature Park.

© Photo: Hector Garrido

Lagoon of El Sopetón. Doñana National Park, Huelva


In Altamira, our primitive ancestors immortalized their prey. In
Doñana, when the wetland dries up and water and food become
scarce, the faunae, in the effort to survive, each year represent
the beauty of the struggle of life with the footprints of their
movements. Irrational and ephemeral art, robbed for immortality
by the photographic camera.


Fernando Hiraldo


Lagoon of El Sopetón. Doñana National Park, Huelva
36º 57’ 25.89’’ N 6º 26’ 07.36’’ W / September 18, 2008
Seasonal lagoon of the Vera de Doñana drying out during the
summer. On the banks and in the muddy bed, the map of the
paths of wild boar, herons and storks in search of food has been
traced in the deepest zones.
Protection status: Doñana Nature Space. National Park.
Photo: © Héctor Garrido

The skin of Doñana

*This article, published in ElPaís Semanal on October 26, 2008, which
included some of the photographs found in this book and exhibition, was
the winner of the Premio Nacional de Periodismo Doñana Sostenible in the
category of photography, awarded by the Fundación Doñana 21



August 12, 2008; 8:30am. Airport of Jerez de la Frontera. Héctor Garrido walks between the hangers to the platform where his
Cessna 172 is parked. He gets into the cockpit through the opening where previously there was a door before Hans, his
pilot, dismantled it in the early morning. The small airplane takes off from runway 22 and immediately turns toward ‘whisky’
(west), heading on a 230º route toward Sanlúcar de Barrameda. After crossing the Guadalquivir River, it enters into LR92, a zone of restricted flight access that only this small plane, and no other, is authorized to enter. We are in Doñana and soon we are flying over flocks of aquatic birds that are poised on the few mirrors of water still remaining in summer. Hans and Héctor wear headphones, but they don’t use the intercom. Héctor holds a small recorder in his right hand and with the left hand directs the flight, motioning to Hans the route and altitude. The synchronization is perfect. He sets about recording the
number of individuals in each of the flocks we visit. Héctor is a bird counter: 1,800 white storks, 375 spoonbills, 410 blackheaded gulls, 65 black-winged stilts, 230 mallard ducks, 870 avocets. To count the members who make up a flock, a bird counter learns to mentally isolate a part of the flock in which he counts the number of birds, divides the flock into
sections of those parts are necessary and multiplies, calculating the total number. He does this in tenths of a second, so fast that he forgets he is doing it in that way.

Sometimes, as when we fly over an area sheltering 90,000 birds of different species, the number of individuals is too great to
count. The Cessna 172 then realizes a circular maneuver, causing the birds to take flight and making it thus easier to count them; at the same time, their flight offers a delicate show of synchrony. On the spur of the moment, Héctor puts down the
grabs the photographic camera with his right hand. He looks down and already sees the frame. Camera at the ready, he slips
half his body out the opening where the door should be, while with his left hand he continues to guide the maneuvers of the
airplane, which banks 60 degrees and turns dizzyingly, pivoting on a wing. The noise of the Lycoming motor of the airplane
drowns out the click of the Nikon D2X, but the gesture makes clear that the CCD registered the mineral spectacle of the wetlands. Héctor is a photographer. He has spent 12 years carrying out this monthly census-taking for the Biological
Research Station of Doñana and has had the necessary talent to see that more than birds exist down there below. That apparently immobile and useless ‘other’ is what he captures in his rich photographic repertoire.

When one flies over Doñana at an altitude of five hundred feet, the same height from which it is seen by the white stork and the flamingo, one is witness to the forms that nature and man have created on the great canvas of the wetlands. At ground level, these forms are hidden on the flat and immense horizon of the lower Guadalquivir, but they nonetheless create the lovely sight one sees from the air. In addition to their undeniable beauty, what captivates me about these images of settings so little frequented, such as the onubense, or Huelva, side of the river, is that they reveal how nature and man use different brushes to paint the infinite canvases to be found in the landscape. The difference is in the geometry. On the one hand, the cold Euclidian geometry drawn in straight lines by man’s rationality, using machines, whether these be simple plows or powerful diggers. On the other hand, the warm but obstinate fractal geometry of the curve and bifurcation sensuously drawn by nature. The battle is a titanic one between two powers, two ways of drawing, two different styles. The struggle has not been eternal: for four and a half billion years geological forces are what have drawn the forms on this planet. These were joined by life some three billion years ago, but life did so as a loyal apprentice of the mineral workshop, copying, retouching here and there, but without disrupting the style of the master. Drawing networks of circles, such as those left by the flamingo in the mud of the wetland pools as it feeds; or fixing and coloring the forms drawn by the tide and the wind, as do the saltwort, salt meadow cordgrass, and the algae that dye the fractal landscape of the island of Enmedio (page 52). Then man arrived a few million years ago and, as yet one more species of life’s diversity, draws his paths on the face of the earth as he hunts for food or looks for water, paths that gently adjust to mineral outline, or bifurcate, such as those formed by the repeated passage of animals looking for water on summer mornings in the springs known as ‘Los Ojos’ (‘Eyes’) of the wetlands (page 44). But the day man picked up a forked branch and traced a straight line in the ground to turn up the soil and sow it, on that day he began to paint the landscape with the arrogance of an apprentice who scorns the master, with a new line that breaks with the style of billions of years. The aesthetic battle begins, therefore, when man plows the fields with the perfection of the straight line, as can be
seen in the irrigated croplands around Doñana, tempted, in this case, by the easy supply of surface water, the well dug in the
sandy soil of the Dehesa de Abajo. It is a touching-up of the landscape, but it is a faint touching-up, a scratch, as light as the estuary that delicately links the shoals of the wetlands in San Fernando (page 86). The grid, however, is somewhat more perturbing, the powerful, humiliating grid, which wipes out all natural indications, such as the one formed by the saltworks of Los Portugueses in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, or the vineyards on drained areas of the wetlands, or the rice plantations fed by the great river. As man conceives new and ever more powerful machines, the transformation of the landscape becomes
more and more radical, more aggressive due to the cold and overwhelming geometry of the housing development, and these
transformations threaten the natural patterns.

The geometry of nature arises from iteration, from the constant, slow but persistent repetition of the same processes. One drop of water after another is what scrapes out, particle by particle, the line in the hard rock, or cuts more easily through the soft sand or mud of the wetlands. This is what gives rise to the similarity between big and small, self-similitude, the repetition of the structure on different scales. This is how bifurcation is born. This is how trees, for example, are created, both living and inert ones, such as the arboreal structure traced by draining water in the mud of the pond of Veta la Palma, in Puebla del Río.
This branched structure is similar to the one created by the Nile in its enormous delta, or to the slender tree of diminutive
channels formed by draining water at low tide as we walk on the wet sand of the beach. It is also identical, or better put, similar, to the one described by Saramago for the Common Cemetery in "Todos los nombres", a structure that ‘observed from the air… looks like a fallen tree, enormous, with a short, thick trunk forming the central section, from which four mighty branches extend, contiguous in their origins but which then extend through successive bifurcations until becoming lost from sight, forming…a leafy crown…’. Contrary in form to the line or grid, this branched structure is nature’s own fractal structure and is therefore, ubiquitous, literally universal. It’s the same structure found in our lungs, the same through which our blood flows, the same along which water once ran on the planet Mars. The aesthetic battle between those two incompatible harmonies that destroy each other is implacable. For this reason, human structures require constant effort to be maintained, because nature is above all stubborn, always powerful, and sometimes dramatically merciless when she is scratched in her depths, when her fragile balance is wounded, inciting her to behave like an avalanche. If man doesn’t make that effort of maintenance, nature takes over and, like a painter working over a rejected work, paints with fractal strokes over the Euclidean
engineer. This can be seen in the mineral-loading platform of Corrales, in the mines of Tharsis (page 54). The order that man
creates, when not maintained, is erased by nature, which employs rain and gravity as brushes to paint a majestic mineral
watercolor with a palette of inimitable colors. This relief is particularly evident in the wetlands, one of the earth’s
most dynamic settings: where are the lines of Euclidean geometry left by the Tartessian settlements that existed here a mere
thousand years ago? Where are those of the famous battle staged less than 200 years ago on the island that gives its name to
Parisian gardens of El Trocadero? They have been erased by the play of tides, which creates structures at low tide that are then
covered by high tide; the next low tide will once again uncover them after modifying them with its erosive hand, and eventually
this play of tides paints those marvelous examples of natural geometry found in the tidal wetlands of the Bay of Cádiz.

Thus, year after year, the play of earth and water redesigns the landscape of Doñana with forms that we previously considered
be whimsical, but which today we understand to be the canonic expression of nature’s fractal geometry. Those forms –
necessarily ephemeral – are the result of the physical dynamic of the wetlands. A dynamic as rich, complex and structured in a
geological context as the beings that inhabit it, and also for this reason, as fragile and unstable. If we accept that harmony is the beautiful relationship that exists between the whole and each of its parts, or between the parts of the whole, then there is
nothing lovelier in Doñana than the forms nature draws in the wetlands. Nor anything as alive.

On the way back to Jerez, I observe how, beneath the vineyard’s army of grapevines lined up in its neat rows, the profile of what was once a wetland appears, traced by the humidity still present in the ground. I wonder to myself whether this conflict of geometries occurs out there, only out there, or whether, on the contrary, it is also being fought in our minds. If we have been biologically programmed to perceive beauty in the sinuous, the intricate, the exuberant curve, is an alternative also molecularly gestating that will warp our concept of beauty towards colder and more regular patterns, towards more exact rhythms? I think of the monolith, the sign of intelligence, Kubrick created for his film 2001, A Space Odyssey, with its straight, cold edges. And then I think of her, of her warm curves.

Juan Manuel García Ruíz