Cuenca Expats Magazine, Issue 40

Photos: Courtesy of John Keeble

Segovia 2 - Issue 40

Cuenca ceramicist Eduardo Segovia yearns to take on the big projects that swirl through his creative mind but reflects on his failing physical energy and admits: “I am old and I have not accomplished my goals.”

He added: “I am thinking big. Bigger sculptures, monuments, ceramic sculptures. I feel that if I have a meter to walk [in this life] I have walked only five centimeters. My physical energy is failing. I can see that I won’t be able to accomplish all that I have thought.”

To see and hear the 83-year-old artist, no one would think of him as anything but ready to take on more projects, but he suffers from an incurable illness and he is conscious of his age.

In his studio and home, which he shares with his second wife Cumanda Alvarez, he works almost every day as a ceramicist and painter, always welcoming those who want to see his work and encouraging younger artists.

A disappointment in his distinguished career has been the lack of recognition and acceptance by Cuenca’s city council, which has chosen not to take up his offers for the people.

Now, in what he sees as his final years, he is giving his designs to a group painting murals in the area where he lives.

In a life that started with poverty and disadvantage, Segovia learned to work hard as well as creatively—but he has no doubt that he was meant for his chosen path. “It is in my genes,” he said. “My father was a great painter, a man of letters, an intellectual. Even if I had not come to the area of the pot makers, I would still have come to art. I was destined to this.”

Segovia 3 - Issue 40

Destiny can be a rocky road and Segovia found he had his share of rocks on the way. As a young man, he tried to get his work accepted for a public show. “I was mocked.” Those who had the authority to give him a show asked: “Why? You should sell this in the market.”

“That motivated me to get better. I needed to have my work shown. I worked very hard for a year and then took my work back.”

“It was never about money,” he said, recalling the driving forces in his life. “I never liked money much. I only wanted to have enough to eat and work. All the time I wanted to get better. It was not for other people. It was for my own sake. It was for me to accomplish my vision, but, sadly, I still have not accomplished everything.”

In his quiet, beautiful room full of his favourite art, he paused to contemplate the past and the future. “I have an illness,” he said. “Perhaps it will take me to the other side. I think I will die of old age [rather than] the illness. I feel that soon I won’t be here.”

He added: 

“When I leave this world and go to that other world, I hope there is clay so that I can continue my work.”

Segovia 4 - Issue 40

Andrés Zambrano, owner of La Guarida restaurant which houses a permanent Segovia art exhibition, kindly gave his time and skills as translator for this article. You can see the exhibition when La Guarida is open, or schedule a private showing by calling 099-806 8071.

 You can also see Eduardo Segovia’s studio and showroom at the artist’s home, on Vega Munoz 22-30 at Luis Pauta, Cuenca. Visits can be arranged by phone, at 282-4707.