Las Pozas…

October 7, 2010

Built adjacent to a series of waterfalls which cascade down the mountainside, Las Pozas is certainly a dreamer’s heaven.  It stands as a truly intricate labyrinth of concrete temples, bridges and spiral staircases that do more than a little to contribute to the surrealist nature of what we know as art.  Las Pozas is the vision and creation of Sir Edward James, an artist born into immense wealth in Sussex England, but who instead rejected all aristocratic conventions and spent his time with artists, poets and existentialists.  James sought out a place to begin living out his surrealist dreams and longing to create and settled on Mexico.  After a snowfall and freeze killed many of the orchids (18,000) and animals he was caring for, he began work on a project that could not be extinguished by the elements.  Throughout the 60’s and the 70’s, James, with the help of his friend Plutarco Gastelum and at least 25 Mexican laborers (some say 150), installed more than 200 steel-reinforced cement constructions into the 20 acres of jungle rainforest.

The results of his work, much of it still unfinished, are absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring.  You could spend days climbing around on the staircases that lead to nowhere, dipping in the pools or exploring the structures and their painted concrete eyes and flowers.  Very much in the way that James’ constructions took from the natural landscape of the jungle, now the jungle seems to be taking it back from James.  At the time of his death, James made no plans for further building or maintenance of Las Pozas and now the sites are beautifully overgrown with moss and lichen, adding to their mystery and decay.

We’ve read there is a documentary,.Edward James- Builder of Dreams.  We think it may clear up some things so we are keen to get a hold of it at some point.  Either way, we left having many more questions than when we first arrived, but felt truly inspired in our own dreaming and building projects we’d like to do someday.

 

The entrance, as seen from the road...

 

Twenty (20!!) million dollars in concrete...

 

What the jungle is now taking back...

 

 

Built to work with and for the elements...

Without plans for the future, electrical sockets like this one are left to deal...

Precision...

A personal favorite...

Kurt doing his best Eddy Jim impression...

Bamboo, forever and ever and ever and...

Just plain captivating...

Yes, they were slippery...

The hands of time...

 

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