The Castle Etxauzia of Baigorri source of inspiration of Irantzu Lekue for the series “Arnasa 01”
The oldest elements of the castle date back to the 11th century. It was seized by the Nazis in World War II, lodged Charles Chaplin and was property among others, of the actress Eleanor Boardman
Closely linked to several events in Navarra history, the campaign of the Etxauzia association aims to purchase the castle to be used for cultural purposes and economic promotion of the area
GASTEIZ. The exhibition is made up of six large-format paintings that have as their center the Castle Etxauzia de Baigorri “its history and its environment, its past, its present and also its future, linked to Etxauzia project that was born to revitalize it, as a dream shuttle And illusions “. From the castle there are references from the eleventh century and has been closely linked to several events in Navarre history. The project began with the stay of the basque contemporary artist Irantzu Lekue in Baigorri, “with the contact with its people and with their surroundings”. Thus for several days he developed landscape and figurative works of Etxauzia surroundings “repairing the surroundings, the views of Etxauzia or the village from the vineyards that surround it,” explains Lekue. “A suitable frame to create” from the series Arnasa 01 where the works are created in mixed pictorial technique through a dynamic brushstroke, “similar to the impressionist, representing the transience of light in the instant to be captured in situ “.
The second phase of the project was, however, developed in the artist’s workshop. “The initial idea was to move to the coast to link the interior with the sea, with the scenario of migration of thousands of people from Zuberoa or Baja Navarra to other places and inquire into the connection between Etxauzia between them, it states. However, the constant rains prevented the execution of works in the natural environment and, thus, the work formed by four canvases that form a pictorial set of 4 x 2 meters, “represents an imaginary world, coming from dreams, surreal , Which unifies the sea and the interior through a translucent castle that houses in it the meeting of the diaspora, the history of the place, a people and a culture.
Etxauzia or Etxauz was owned by Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast, an assistant to Charles Chaplin, screenwriter and film director in Hollywood during the twenties and thirties of the 20th century, but today it is owned by a married couple living in Miami. The citizens of the region are determined to buy it and the project has joined writers such as Bernardo Atxaga, Harkaitz Cano, Itxaro Borda, Katixa Agirre or Marie Darrieussecq; Filmmakers such as Oskar Alegria, Aitor and Amaia Merino or Sylvie Garat; Bertsolaris as Maialen Lujanbio, Miren Amuriza or Amets Arzallus; And artists such as Santos Bregaña, Irantzu Lekue, Alicia Otaegui, Marga Berra Zubieta and Nerea de Diego. The scientist Pedro Miguel Etxenike, the theater directors Fernando Bernués and Mireia Gabilondo, the dantzaris Jon Maya and Oier Araolaza, or musicians like former ‘Oskorri’ Natxo de Felipe, Mursego, Joserra Senperena, Joseba Tapia and Juantxo Zeberio.
The aim of this initiative, supported by these artists, is to convert the Castle of Etxauz into an interactive exhibition space on the castle’s own history, as well as the Navarrese cultural heritage, through a program of multilingual visits, conferences, exhibitions and excursions. Also in a media library, as well as in a file center and genealogical research. The project also goes into other areas. It was born with the intention of becoming a “meeting point between the Navarrese and the Basque diaspora to promote exchanges and reunions, facilitate genealogical research and offer a place of welcome”. In the words of those responsible for the association, “we want to be the mother of the Basque people throughout the world”. In this sense, the service of genealogy that Etxauzia will offer is of special interest to the Basques of the diaspora.
To achieve this, the Etxauzia association managed to collect more than 100,000 euros from 2,500 contributions in a first phase of the campaign. Now and until September, it will try to obtain another 400,000 that will serve to pay the advance of the purchase of the castle and to start up the program of activities that will host the future center located in Baigorrri. For now, the target has been set to reach between 15,000 and 20,000 donors.
The Castle of Etxauz is located in a rocky promontory of Baigorri – to 36 kilometers of Bayona -, has passed good part of the history of Lower Navarre of the last ten centuries. Although its oldest elements.
Date: September 8, 2017