Lastres, Asturias, Spain 2016
Ⓒ Peter Callas 2018. All Rights Reserved. This image may not be used, reposted or reproduced in any way without prior written permission from the copyright holder.
Lastres, officially named Llastres, was until recently a sleepy fishing village, historically a whaling port, on the Costa Verde in Asturias in the very north of Spain. It has newfound fame as the location for the Spanish version of the British television series ‘Doc Martin’. Called ‘Doctor Mateo’, it features the often whimsical permutations of a doctor’s life in the fictional town of San Martín del Sella. Its opening titles feature surrealist flourishes such as the sea draining into a vortex in front of the harbour and the doctor’s bag opening to spill out gallons of sea water and tons of fish (no whales though). That’s the cue for some of my hypnagogic treatments of some of the port’s architecture. Lastres has some eccentric flashes of braziliana — from the contrasting colour of some of the houses perched high above the ocean to the protective tiles of the syncretic Iemanja-like Virgen de Covadonga (or to Nta. Sra. Del Buen Suceso), placed both dolorously and/or exuberantly on the walls of the steeply rising passageways. The pantiled roofs that form a terracotta curtain over town look like they have dripped down from the heavens above rather than to have risen from the earth, and the lace iron grills incorporating anthropomorphic or vegetal components that cover the windows and doors seem a throwback to archaic talismans rather than the stark decoration of utilitarian and literally protective objects.
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