Espada Belmonte, Rodrigo
Rodrigo Espada Belmonte was born in the city of Badajoz, on the 2nd August 1970. Already at a very early age he took a keen interest in drawing and volume, playing with the clay he found in the fields and making chalk carvings instead of attending school. In 1989 he commenced his studies at the "Santa Isabel de Hungría" faculty of Fine Arts of Sevilla. He focussed on the speciality of sculpture, studying subjects such as Modelling and Composition, Carving in stone and wood, Metal, Imagery and sculptural reproduction. In the course of these years, he was taught by professors who were to have a great impact on his career and who helped him during his stay in the capital city of Sevilla, with particular mention of Antonio García Romero.From 1995 to 1998, he taught Sculptural reproduction at the Institute of Fine Arts of Tetuán, and also made a number of trips abroad. In subsequent years he combined his work in Sevilla with work in his birth town and in other towns in the province. This work comprised sculptural monuments, items of imagery and reproductions. The sculptor was so engrossed in this work that, from the year 2000 onwards, he progressively moved his place of residence to Badajoz. In 2003 he was appointed as a teacher at the Faculty of Education of the University of Extremadura, giving classes in the Area of Didactics of Plastic Expression, subsequently he taught at the School of Applied Arts and Artistic Crafts in the town of Mérida. During this period as a teacher, Rodrigo continued to combine his sculptural work with his teaching at the university, solely accepting commissioned work, and holding an occasional individual exhibition and also group exhibitions.
His work combined replica work with other jobs to restore sculptures, ornamental items and murals, and other work of a more artistic nature. Amongst his sculptural work, of particular note is the sculptural decoration of the façade of a building located in the street José de Gabriel Estenoz nº 34 of Badajoz (1992). During the following year, he worked on the entrance hall of the Hotel "Anfiteatro romano" in the town of Santiponce (Sevilla), whilst, amongst his sculptural reproductions, of particular note are those works corresponding to the reproductions of "Trajano" and "Hebe" and now to be found as public monuments in the Faculty of Medicine of Sevilla. In 1997 he created a sober sculptural decoration of the facade of the "Antigua Cilla" public building, located in El Coronil (Sevilla) and the reconstruction of all the exterior work of the Sevillian little palace of "La Casa de las Sirenas". In 1998, together with his friend Cayetano Cruz García, the painter, he created an altarpiece for the chapel of the Santísimo Sacramento of the Parish church of San Juan de Dios in Badajoz. During that same year, he received his first commission for a public monument, namely a "Corazón de Jesús" made together with Mª de las Nieves Albarracín Lendínez in artificial stone with Portland white cement. The monument is located in "La Guarda", on the Road of Quintana de la Serena, s/n (Badajoz). Other public monuments created by Rodrigo Espada include: "Homenaje a don Francisco Luna Ortiz", the mayor of Zafra and president of the Livestock Fair, located in the Banesto Pavilion of the Exhibition Ground of Zafra, (Badajoz 2001); "Homenaje a las Víctimas de la Riada de noviembre del 97" (Bronze, 2001) located in the gardens of the Legión de Badajoz; "Sagrado Corazón" (2001) in the former cemetery of Peñalsordo, (Badajoz); "San Isidro Labrador" (2004) in Talavera la Real, (Badajoz); "Sagrado Corazón" (Concrete, 2009) in La Nava de Ricomalillo in the province of Toledo and the "Sagrado Corazón" of Pamplona in 2010.
Sources of information:
Autobiografía. Rodrigo Espada Belmonte. Badajoz, octubre de 2009. "Una imagen del Sagrado Corazón debe transmitir bondad y cercanía". DIARIO DE NAVARRA, 20 de junio de 2010.