FelipaManuela begins in 2011 as a residency for artists from other cities in Spain, Europe and Latin America. The initiative was hosted by the old flat of a woman named Felipa Manuela Martínez, who lived and worked there as a seamstress for over fifty years. Widowed a few years after her marriage, she managed to get through the forties and fifties of the Spanish postwar period, thanks to her hard work and a network of women she had nurtured throughout her life. This spirit of collaboration, based on the ancestral support networks that women have organized throughout history worldwide, has inspired FelipaManuela since the project’s inception.
Las Delicias neighborhood saw the old house was transformed into a cultural space, maintaining the furniture and decoration of its previous owner; a "grandmother’s house" filled with memories and objects connected to her personal life and the city’s memory of over half a century. A warm "home", seeming universally familiar, allowed foreign artists to connect deeply with the context of Madrid. Through this domestic space and a completely self-managed trajectory, FelipaManuela helped revive a local scene that was still in awe after the economic crisis that reached its peak in 2011. For almost two years, it became a meeting place for artists, curators and other professionals, promoting a form of work and sustainability based on collaboration with other spaces and institutions throughout the city.
In 2016, the space took a turn and focused its activity on research residencies for agents interested in delving into the current debates that inhabit contemporary artistic and cultural practice.
Felipa Manuela and her sister Enriqueta in Madrid, during the years after the Spanish Civil War. Family album.