The little wooden chalet where Roser Capdevila used to draw is in the garden at the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya (BC). The illustrator had it installed on the terrace of her home and worked there for 20 years. When the time came for the construction to go, the library offered a site for it.
Every day for 20 years, Roser Capdevila, the mother and the creator of Les Tres Bessones (The Triplets), came out onto her terrace and took to her wooden hut. This small construction became her workplace, where she spent hours drawing and letting her imagination go. “I was very happy here, it was my second home. It was my world, very small, but I like small spaces, because I think illustrating only needs a small space”, she explains.
Capdevila explains that it was surrounded by plants and the sea could be seen through the window. “In winter, being in here with a little heater was like a privilege, and that was great for inspiring me, especially if I was drawing stories as it felt like I was in a story” she notes. The time came however, when the structure inevitably had to go. That’s when the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya (BC) offered a place to put it.
A most unusual acquisition
Located in the library garden, the chalet is now visited by guided tours. For the BC, it’s an unusual acquisition, but at the same time essential to learn about the artist. Roser Pintó, director of the graphic unit at the library, explains, “it provides a truly complete dimension to the artist, as on one hand you see her work and on the other you see her world”.
The wooden shed is actually full of drawings and things from the artist’s past. It preserves many features which characterise her, such as a passion for recycling and cardboard boxes. “I transform them, I give them a second life, an opportunity”, she explains as she points to a “magic box to keep secrets in”, and a box with Japanese motifs on.
Since 2011, the library has also housed over 3,000 original drawings by Roser Capdevila, from the early illustrations in the 70s to the most popular cartoon sketches of The Triplets. The collection can be consulted by appointment.