OCTOBER 03, 2015 > NOVEMBER 01, 2015
Exhibition of the works of six young Basque artists, in the "Prison des Évêques" and the town hall of Donibane Garazi - Saint Jean Pied de Port.
In the "Prison des Évêques" (41, rue de la Citadelle): works by the five finalists in the competition for the Itzal Aktiboa contemporary art prize 2015: Grégory Cuquel, from Anglet, (Labourd); María Jiménez Moreno, from Zizur Mayor (Navarre); Cécile Mestelan, from Bidart (Labourd); Mickaël Vivier, from Bayonne (Labourd) and Eluska Zabalo Monje, from Arrasate-Mondragón (Gipuzkoa).
Inauguration and announcement of the winner of the Itzal Aktiboa Prize: Friday, 2 October at 6.30 p.m. in the Prison des Évêques.
In the town hall: paintings by Charles Jaulerry, from Arcangues (Labourd.
Prison des Évêques: daily except Tuesday, from 11.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Town Hall of Donibane Garazi - Saint Jean Pied de Port: Monday to Friday, from 8.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon and from 2.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.
GazteArtea Garazin: the 6 artists
Born in Baiona in 1988, Cécile Mestelan attended the Ecole Supérieur d’Art des Rocailles in Biarritz and the Ecole cantonale d’art in Lausanne, where she earned a Master’s degree in visual art. She divides her time between Bidart and Lisbon, where she has her studio.
In this exhibition she is presenting a series of small-scale ceramic sculptures aligned on plinths made of cork, entitled Fétiche (Fetish). Manufactured using molds created by the artist, the statuettes combine organic and geometric forms, reminding the viewer of works by artists such as Brancusi and Miro, but also of the trinkets and lucky charms that often play a role in our daily lives.
Their apparently purposeless nature, reinforced by the contrast between the hardness of the ceramic material from which they are made and the softness of the cork plinths on which they are placed, invites us to question our relationship with the objects that surround us.
Born in Bayonne in 1981, Charles Jaulerry studied graphic art in Paris and New York, where he worked for four years in the archives of Marlborough Gallery. He began painting in New York, before returning to his home in Arcangues, in the Basque Country, where he developed a technique using collage to create paintings inspired by his natural surroundings and particularly by the flight of birds.
“Drawing inspiration from the work of Jackson Pollock and from Mike Kelley’s Memory Ware Flats, I use bits and pieces of materials stored in my studio to create collages giving a sensation of movement and weightlessness when placed on the canvas. I aim to combine abstraction with figurative representation.
“From a distance, the collages merge with the painted background of the canvas. From close up, you see the birds created in relief using fragments of dried paint, scraps of old paper, bits of canvas and other mediums that I have experimented with and kept over the years.”
Born in 1982 in Donostia, Eluska Zabalo Monje studied art and sociology at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao. Based in Bilbao, she combines her artistic activities with teaching art to children and adults. She is currently working on a multidisciplinary project, Paisai alderraiak (Erratic Landscapes), which combines elements of drawing and engraving.
The work exhibited here forms part of this project. Twelve photogravures on aluminium sheets reproduce enlarged fragments of landscapes previously engraved on copper plates. Taking the landscape as a reference, the artist uses deconstruction and fragmentation to pursue a strategy of alienation between form and line.
Her objective is to attain a level of abstraction in relation to her point of departure in which referential and formal values are in a state of tense equilibrium. Through fragmentation and reassembly, she pushes to its limits the relationship between the whole and its constituent parts. Reassembled in a new order, the fragments compose a new unity while at the same time demonstrating their discontinuity.
Born in Baiona in 1980, Grégory Cuquel lives in Anglet, has his studio in Bidart, and teaches a course in volume at the École d'art de l'Agglomération Côte Basque – Adour in Baiona. Here he presents a series of graphite drawings on paper entitled "jardin de brisement", or Garden of Brokenness.
“I work listening to music, often that of William Basinski. I crush the graphite and mix it with oil and solvents, then rub it on the paper. The paper absorbs the graphite and with it the gestures and actions that give rise to the shapes and form that emerge.
“Time is an important element in the process. Curves, folds and interstices illustrate the mental architectures and pathways inspired by the music. Once the process is complete, the eye of the spectator is free to rove through the landscape thus created.”
María Jiménez Moreno was born in Iruñea in 1978. She lives in nearby Zizur Nagusia and teaches art in various locations around the city. In recent years, she has focused her work on imitating nature through imaginary forms sculpted in crochet.
As a next step in this process, she is presenting here a series of graphic artworks, entitled Objetuario (Taxonomía ilustrada) and inspired by the way scientists and explorers of the 17th; 18th and 19th centuries used drawings to study and catalogue the natural species that they encountered on their voyages of discovery. In this case, these illustrations are graphic representations of her own sculptural artworks.
“My aim is to explore and express my relationship with nature through the creation of intimate microcosms. Experimenting with a wide range of materials and techniques, I draw on the plastic and conceptual language of magic realism. While the explorers of past centuries used illustrations as a way of documenting flora and fauna, my illustrations aim to construct an intimate habitat based on my own work.”
Mickaël Vivier was born in Bayonne in 1983 and studied at the École Européenne Supérieure de l’Image in Angoulême and the Universiiy of Poitiers, before working for four years at the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art centre in Paris. Since 2012, he has been teaching video and cyber art at the École d’Art de l’Agglomération Côte - Basque Adour in Bayonne.
For this exhibition he is showing an installation entitled Histoire naturelle-Natura istorioa, combining drawings, sculpture and video in a retranscription of the legend of the Chambre d’Amour in Anglet. This tells the tragic tale of a pair of lovers who set themselves a tryst in a seaside cave, where they were trapped by the rising tide and drowned.
“My interest lies in exploring our relationship with the environment that surrounds us. The Basque Country is rich in myths and legends and a fertile place for fantasy and fiction. In my work, I superimpose and intermingle these different layers of reality. Histoire naturelle-Natura istorioa fits into this approach.
“The cave of the legend, rebaptised as a “chamber of love”, is still there, behind a car park at the beach known as Les Sables d’Or. Its floor is covered with inscriptions of names and hearts pierced with arrows, but also with empty beer cans, cigarette butts and used condoms. This contrast between romantic myth and reality is the basis for my installation.
“Its purpose is to question our perception of our environment by drawing attention to the different ways in which we represent it, both in the past and in the present. By means of naturalist drawings, I illustrate the flora and fauna of our surroundings. Using 3D images, I show places that are inaccessible to Man. Through myths, I make sense of the natural phenomena that I witness. All of these are languages that enable us to re-write the world.”
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