People are said to return to places where they were happy and, although Esperanza Gómez-Carrera has been living in London for many years, whenever she comes back to Malaga she is overjoyed to be home, close to her roots. She hasn't exhibited here since 2014, so this return is a reason for celebration and that is why she has called the show Times That Were Awaiting Me (Beyond Words).
The exhibition is taking place at La Casa Amarilla. From the entrance to this small gallery you can see a large door, inviting you into the display: it is the piece called Lights in Search of Freedom, which is born from books: the pages show the way to the light from the window. Towards freedom.
Walking through the gallery a few minutes before the official opening, Esperanza never stopped smiling and couldn't hide her joy at being home again.
"I love Malaga, that's why these are the wonderful times that awaited me, the times when I am truly happy in my own city," she said.
Books fill the room but the protagonists are the stories inside. A small window of minimalism peeps out of each of them to reveal the message inside: "It's as if the characters in the book come out and tell their story. I'm a very fanciful person," she said.
This exhibition has been designed specifically for La Casa Amarilla (Calle Santos, 7) and it can be visited until 26 September. Esperanza has been preparing for it for the past 18 months.
"There are 29 works created especially for this exhibition, apart from two or three that I have already shown in London or Italy," she said. One of those is I Fell in Love With You As I Was Looking at You, and as we regard it Esperanza's eyes shine and she smiles as she remembers the event that gave the work its name. "There's a wonderful story behind that one," she said.
And so Esperanza Gómez-Carrera has come home and is very happy, among the pages of books and stories that invite us to fantasise about her characters. This is a display full of freedom, which she has been waiting for some time to take to her home city and which goes far beyond words. These are the times that were awaiting her.
The exhibition is open Monday to Wednesday 10am-2pm, Thursday and Friday 10am-2pm and 5-8pm, and Saturday 10am-2pm.
Esperanza Gómez Carrera is also featured in a four-artist show entitled Deconstruction for Creation - Feeling Art Made of Books, which can be seen until 2 October at Isla Negra, an antiquarian book shop/contemporary art gallery situated in the historical centre of Malaga (Calle Álamos, 15). Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10.30am-2pm, 5pm- 8.30pm; Saturday 10.30am-2pm.