BTOY IN RESiDENCE at the School Lluís Domènech i Montaner


From the very start of the residency, Andrea Michaelsson, BTOY, had a clear goal, because it was established very early on that the project should lead to the creation of a mural at the school. At the first meetings with the key teachers and school management, the wall we would work on was decided. This wall is located on a terrace that provides a playground for the pupils. It is very close to the art classroom where the residency was to take place.


To familiarise the pupils with street art, both the teachers and Andrea showed them images of murals in the public space, as well as documentaries and films on the subject.

During the first term, Andrea also taught the group the technique of stencilling and showed them the stencils she uses in her large murals, while enabling the pupils to experiment with the medium in small format. The results of these experiments were exhibited in the school lobby and, later, in the hall of the public library in the neighbourhood, Biblioteca Francesc Candel. This show took place thanks to the initiative of the teachers themselves, who organised it with the pupils.

From January on, the work of the residency began to to focus on the mural to be created at the school. The first step was to decide the motifs or themes of this mural with the group, so the artist planned a session or two around questions and issues that might be of interest to the pupils.


The second phase consisted of a series of photo shoots to prepare the basic material basis for the figures that would appear on the mural. The pupils played an active role in this phase, and were the main players during the sessions. More photo shoots were required to enable BTOY to find the right motifs for the mural.

The joint decision-taking process to decide what figures would feature on the mural was followed by the production of the stencils, this time at large scale, ready for the wall. The process began with treatment of the photographs, after which they were projected to draw them on cardboard and, finally, they were cut out to make the stencils. Most of the pupils take part enthusiastically in this whole production process.


The final phase was to prepare the wall chosen, create a background based on the geometric forms chosen by the pupils and, finally, to paint the motifs using sprays, with the aid of the stencils.


During the conception stage of the mural at the school, the residency coordinator asked Andrea if a second mural could be created at a space in the museum. Andrea and the group agreed to this, and used the closing sessions to make their plans, taking into account what was now a dual action. The group visited the museum over the last three weeks of the residency, but the mural there is really the design and creation of the artist herself.


A series of outings were organised during the residency, enabling the group to focus, contextualise and develop the project that BTOY was engaged on during the artist's residence at Institut Domènech i Montaner.

A route around mural paintings in Poblenou and La Escocesa art factory
Andrea was our guide in a visit to this neighbourhood, where we saw murals painted by different artists. There is even one of her own paintings on a building wall here. The route continued to the exterior of La Escocesa art factory, where we saw the murals painted during the Open Walls festival.

Frescoes in the Romanesque art collection at the National Art Museum of Catalonia
We visited the Romanesque art collection, concentrating particularly on the use of walls for frescoes, enabling the children to discover the mural tradition, a tradition that Andrea's street art also forms part of. We talked with her about contemporary techniques compared to the fresco technique.

National Art Museum of Catalonia. Visit to the Cambó Collection and the temporary exhibition Xavier Gosé, 1876-1915. Illustrator of Modernity 
In order to explore the theme of the portrait, the central them in BTOY's murals, in greater depth, we visited the Cambó Collection, which enabled us to take a journey through the history of this painterly genre. We also took advantage of this visit to tour the temporary show devoted to the fashion illustrator Xavier Gosé, who work depicts a period that also fascinates our artist in residence.

Meeting of the school teaching staff to introduce the project
The whole school teaching staff was invited to an introduction to Andrea's project with the group of third-year secondary pupils. At it, they learned about the outings made to date and a description was given of the final project for the mural to be created at the school.

Picasso Museum of Barcelona. Dramatised visit: “A Journey Around Picasso's Work Through His Portraits”
A visit to this museum focusing on the portrait, a recurring motif in BTOY's murals, was planned. The group opted to take this participative tour, which revolves around five portraits conserved at the Picasso Museum.

Presentation of the mural at the National Art Museum of Catalonia

Presentation of the mural at the school
The pupils and the teacher prepared a presentation at which each would explain a different aspect of the residency. In the presentation at the school the group emphasises the importance of talking about the work process and the stencilling technique, displaying the materials prepared in order to create the mural.


By clicking on this link, you can watch a video showing everything we did as part of this subject.