2005 Therese

Therese 2005


José Pablo Arriaga has composed a special exhibition on the island of Lekeitio; he has placed fifteen sculptures on the island also called Garraitz and St. Nicholas. It’s past noon. The soothing sound of the sea is heard, and instead of the smiling moon, the warm sun is winking at us. As the tide is low, we have been able to get from the beach to the island on foot and without getting too wet, and we have gone up paths surrounded by blackberries, sunflowers, bushes, and many other plants. You hear the music of summer, the cries and laughter of the beach, the sweet wind, the water, the seagulls. Garraitz looks like the paradise of these birds, because they are painted trees, broken logs, and works of art made from burnt wood. The black color of the works and the white footprint of the seagulls have come together.

The Arriaga has named the exhibition “Therese…” in honor of a girl who died while traveling by boat on the Kasai River in the Congo. This sculptor of the artisan family loves to travel; he has traveled many lands in search of the balance between man and nature. 2000. in the year he made the London-paris-Lekeitio route by boat. He rowed for 43 days alone. In 2004, Markina sailed back to Africa. He has gathered most of his or most important experiences in sculptures to tell people what the journey was like and to share experiences. That is why he chose the island of Lekeitio, because it is quite wild, and because it is like a journey up there.

A mirror to see Africa from here.

Each work is called Euskal Herria, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa. Egileak azaldu duenez, oso desberdinak dira denak, eta bakoitzak bere kokalekua du. “For example, ‘Central Africa’ is protecting a cave and it’s quite aggressive, it’s aiming with a spear. ‘The Democratic Republic of Cuba shows how baby Therese is dying; he’s going down the cliff giving up his mark, his mother can’t protect him,’ he said. ‘As I know these emotions, as I know where they are, often when I go there the feelings are similar. It’s like a mirror; what happened in Africa and how I see it here, “he added. He’s happy about that, and those elements on the perimeter of the island would like people to say something too.

From work to work, from country to country, the visitor to the island is informed of the experiences and sensations of the artist. In the exhibition catalogue, Juanjo Elordi has written his story to every work of art. “Nigeria”, for example, has the following text: “I have a two-day permit, to be in that country two hundred thousand square kilometers a day, they don’t want a nile here. Even if I have the piece of paper in my hands, I’m waiting with the ‘paperless’ to cross the border. No bus came all week, a van will put us in Nigeria. I wonder if the mole will dig the fence. They say this service belongs to the mafia. The police are waiting for us at the border. They’ve all been arrested.

However, every friend who visits St. Nicholas invents his story along the way, the seagulls sing different songs to one another, the wind has a tune for each ear, like the sea. I looked at the sculpture that belongs to Benin and saw a streetlight, and the effort to rise from the ground, and the balance, and the dreams of the clouds… The feelings of the Arriaga are different: “All the burden is on him; the burden is on his head, that girl, that boy, that grandfather, that child… the heavy burden from one side to the other, the constant silent and intense means of transport, his shadow is long, the burden is heavy on the people of Benin.”

Maidei Iantzi “Gara”

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