Atauri revives its bridge with the participatory mural of Irantzu Lekue

The Atauri revival of its bridge with the participatory mural of Irantzu Lekue

The bridge collapsed under the weight of a truck loaded with pigs. The people of Alava revived the bridge with the mural of Irantzu Lekue in the Atauri piece of art

There are hardly any pictures of the old Atauri bridge. There are written references from the year 1730. Versan on a wooden bridge, which spans the river Berrón. Uniting, the town interacting, at the foot of the Rock “five o’clock”. It was in 1737 when the bridge went from wood to sturdy stone. A change for the people. So much so that it became the central element of photos of the period.

One of those snapshots, dated in 1890, is the one that the Basque artist Irantzu Lekue has taken as a reference to elaborate, together with the residents of Atauri, the participatory mural Zubi bizia. A mural that unites two important concepts for the people “the bridge that collapsed, the passage of a pig truck in the early 90’s and life, culture, what we want for our enclave, for the Alava mountain”, explains Xabier Oribe. ” The story is curious because it was the last pig farm remaining, Atauri, and with that trip the pigs were gone forever. The pigs’ last trip took away our bridge, ”he explains.

The participatory process for the mural’s elaboration was simpler than with other murals, as Irantzu Lekue explains “On this occasion the people were very clear about what they wanted, there was total agreement, “she explains. Together with the residents of Atauri, a town with 25 inhabitants, and in which the majority collaborated in its implementation. Thus they  also built new relationships and links among the residents of the area with different techniques of citizen participation applied to art, “we are very happy with the result and most importantly: we are reinforcing that art is the vehicle to reinforce the ties of a community: of the neighbours of Mendialdea ”.

The mural  adopted pictorial elements typical of the environment surrounding the bridge but also references to culture, in a clear tribute to Atauri art, ”explains Lekue, who is especially interested in developing artistic projects outside the largely populated centres“ where we build culture from small to large, from the bottom up. And that is what we are doing in Atauri.  The use of art to bring together the community and introduce it into people’s daily lives. In short, improving the environment to improve lives.”

In this project Irantzu Lekue also had to face some problems such as adverse weather and humidity in the area. “It is a humid and difficult place. Therefore,  it was given special treatment to clean it and special paint to make sure it lasts. ”

With the inauguration of the Irantzu Lekue mural, the sixth edition of the Atauri Art Festival began.

Date: April 6, 2020