Errekaleor expands its open-air museum with a new mural by Irantzu Lekue

The last artistic work is an exercise in memory and refers to March 3. It was carried out on the facade of the building belonging to the Romualdo Barroso family, a worker killed by the police in Zaramaga

Great international figures of ‘street art’ have left their mark on the ‘okupa’ neighborhood. Lekue is the first Alava woman to sign a mural in the neighbourhood.

GASTEIZ The Okupa Gasteiztarra neighborhood of Errekaleor inaugurates a mural. She does this on the anniversary of March 3, when the Police killed five workers after the assembly  that was being held  in the Church of the Zaramaga neighbourhood. One of them, Romualdo Barroso, was a neighbor of Errekaleor. That is why the new mural recalls what happened and also makes a special mention to Salvador Puig Antich, an anarchist and Catalan anti-fascist killed by the baton on the morning of March 2, 1974. “The culture work group of the neighbourhood inspired me to integrate the mural as a reminder of Puig Antich and I have done so, ”explains the author.

With the mural “Sena”, meaning instinct in Euskara, by the artist Irantzu Lekue. There are already 21 murals that make up this open-air museum. Lekue is the first Alava artist who leaves her mark in the street art district of Vitoria – Gasteiz. The 65-square-meter work represents in the upper part and through a grid the moment in which the Police gassed the church while the assembled workers tried to leave. The new work has Picassian inspiration and the images full of anguish and despair are accompanied by the monument on March 3, which incorporates in its interior different scenes of these tragic events. “I wanted to use a very small colour palette to provide the work of contrasts and increase its symbolic value. That’s why I use black, white, grey and red,” explains the Vitorian muralist.

Among the muralists and artists of ‘street art’ who have left their works include Blu (Italy) known as the Italian Bansky, Tomás Facio (Argentina), Barricada Gráfica and El Yako (Chile), Ocu and Kerozen (Romania) or Nicole Salgar (USA) They have also painted on their walls Escif, Manolo Mesa, Zora and Juli; Andrea Btoy or The King of Ruin. The origin of this alternative mural route, far from the traditional tourist circuit of the city, dates back to the settlement of the ‘okupa’ movement where there were people with artistic restlessness, who painted and wanted to express their messages on their walls. Over time, Errekaleor has extended its invitations to world-renowned artists and the neighbourhood has thus become a reference for lovers of urban art or street art.

Street art was born as a subversive and denouncing art that, as has happened with other cultural expressions, has become a mass phenomenon. There are thousands of tourists who travel to European capitals such as Berlin, London or Lisbon every year – located in world mecca of urban art – to enjoy the talent of their artists at street level.

Lekue has shown her joy and gratitude for the opportunity that the assembly has given her to contribute to the neighbourhood and “continue to create a cultural heritage open to the city. They have given me complete freedom and I have wanted to thank you by contributing from my field, contributing from art”.

The murals contributed to the Errekaleor project, the largest squatted neighbourhood on the peninsula, collect new support and become known internationally. Not only that; as they have announced, in the coming months there will be new murals.