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Countdown to my new Solo Exhibition | 5 days – Semana Santa Code

This is the third post of artwork shares as The Daily Norm warms up for my first solo art exhibition in 6 years. Moving on from the more emotionally raw works of my accident collection which will take centre stage at the exhibition, I move on, albeit gradually, to my works inspired by the culturally abundant, vividly colourful country of Spain. 

For in the third work I am featuring by way of preview of next week’s exhibition, Road Traffic Control (The Semana Santa Code) I may be representing the Spanish Semana Santa parades which are characteristic of Spanish cities up and down the length and breadth of the country during Easter Week, but I also continue to reference the road traffic symbolism which dominated my work from the time of my 2008 accident onwards.

Whether or not the influence of the accident was still dominant in my mind when I painted this work I am not sure. To some extents I will never truly escaped the effects of my accident in my art, just as I will never totally escape them in life. However, the road traffic imagery in this painting was used, not so much as a reference back to my own accident, but as a way of portraying the traditional parades of the Spanish Easter celebrations through a less traditional mode of illustration.

The Semana Santa Code (Oil on canvas, 2011 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

The Semana Santa Code (Oil on canvas, 2011 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

The idea came to me when I noticed that the Spanish Nazareños, marching along the roads of Spanish cities with their pointed conical caps, looked much like walking traffic cones. And so the idea was born. From the use of traffic cones, I moved on to utilise familiar traffic signs and symbols by way of “codyfying” (in the same way as The Highway Code does for traffic) some of the religious meanings and motivations underlying the Easter parades. For example I converted the typical motorway sign into a symbol of Mary, Mother of Christ, while the crucifixion was replaced with the sign for a crossroads.

For its scale (the painting measures almost 2 metres across) and the relative simplicity of the image, I really do love this painting, a fact which will be reflected as I plan to hang this work at the very opening of my show next week; for as a painting reflecting both the Spanish culture which has so entranced me, and the road traffic imagery which was the cause of so much personal all-encompassing pain, this painting really is apt illustration of the time when (s)pain became the Norm.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at

Nicholas de Lacy-Brown’s new solo exhibition, When (S)pain became the Norm, will be at London’s Strand Gallery from 13 – 18 May 2014. For more details, click here.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. maru clavier #

    I would love to be there.

    May 8, 2014
    • I so wish you could be.

      May 10, 2014
      • maru clavier #

        One day! …as one day I will be able to buy one of your pieces.

        May 10, 2014

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