FAMAG 2016.8

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Zapata, Carlos (born 1963): Santa Warna's Wishing Well, signed and dated 2016, automaton, 60 cms high.

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Santa Warna is the patron saint of wreckers, the people who live from salvaging the cargo booty from ships, which have become wrecked or foundered on the shores in shallow water.

Legend has it that at Santa Warna's well on the Isles of Scilly young women would drop a bent pin into the well as an offering and say a prayer to Santa Warna. They would ask her to bring ships onto the rocks overnight. Once ashore, the ship's
cargo was considered as "belonging to the islanders" and would be gathered by the wreckers in the early morning light.

The artist Ithell Colquhoun (1906-1988), who lived in Lamorna, wrote a poem and painted a picture on the theme of Santa Warna's Wishing Well. This in turn became the inspiration for the automaton by Carlos Zapata.