Photographs that reveal a not-seen nature

Finalist 2017, Young Photographers of the Year, 11-14 years 'Bear hug'. Ashleigh Scully.

 

 

 

This contest called since 1964 by the Natural History Museum of London is overpasses each year the number of participants and the quality of their photographs. In the 53rd edition, more than 50,000 professional and amateur photographers from a total of 92 countries have competed. Of all the works presented to competition, a selection of the best is made to take part of an exhibition open to the public. This year, Madrid is the first city where this itinerant exhibition lands.

 

 

 

 

Finalist 2017, Birds 'Resplendent delivery'. Tyohar Kastiel.

 

 

 

Nature does not stop surprising us. Although modern man got used to living in the asphalt world, surrounded by buildings, concrete, bricks and glass, our essence tells us that all this is artificial and that we belong to another environment.

 

 

 

 

Finalist 2017, Animals' portraits 'The power of the matriarch'. David Lloyd.

 

 

 

The natural environment conveys peace, marvels us, welcomes us. From nature we get everything, we live from it, with it, by it. We should not let spread the wrong feeling that we handle everything, that we are the dominant species that has everything under its control and that the elements will submit under our superiority.

 

 

 

Winner photograph of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017. Brent Stirton.

 

 

 

 

One would expect to find breathtaking images of unique landscapes, vertiginous cliffs against a backlight, wild animals while hunting or birds rising between the thick vegetation. Obviously, that is also. But among the finalists of this year, stand out the crudest images of the consequences of man's behaviour on the environment.

 

 

 

Finalist 2017, Individual image 'Sewage surfer'. Justin Hofman.

 

 

 

Animals on the verge of extinction harassed by a predatory and ambitious human being, seas plagued with plastics and waste that we irresponsibly do not reach to manage. This is the stark reality of our impact on nature. On this occasion, the finalist image of the contest removes the sale and deepens into the need for us to become aware of our actions. Nature is beautiful, but we must take care of it.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.