The artist Irantzu Lekue concludes her latest mural project in Derio

The project stems from citizen participation. Several work sessions have been carried out to select the reasons that have been included in the design.

More than 50 people participated in this participatory and artistic process. Irantrzu Lekue will shortly begin a new project in Barcelona

DERIO. Larrabarri de Derio street has a new piece of art created by its neighbours. They created it under the direction of the artist Irantzu Lekue. The mural on which we are working “the axis is the visibility of women, we want to contribute our grain of sand to end gender violence but also with all the inequalities we suffer in day to day women,” explains the artist . “A small tribute to women and feminist movements.”

The project, promoted by the City Council of Derio, is born from the citizen participation. First, they held several open sessions in which the artist collected the concerns and ideas of the people who participated. “Then my job is to provide an artistic translation to all this, turn ideas into work and sketch them.” After several sketches the mural is already underway. “The purpose of the project is to put into practice the concept of learning by doing. Internalize the concept while the action is taking place, ”he emphasizes. “We have implemented our citizen participation techniques. Our commitment, and that of the City Council, is that of aesthetic environments but also socially, creating bridges and using art as a vehicle for social transformation ”.

The final pictorial proposal agreed in these participatory sessions represents different women of different ages and generations. It begins with Doña Juana Elguezabal, a woman born in Derio and who was a reference in the performing arts and in her social work. Elguezabal lived his childhood and youth in Derio. He moved to Extremadura in 1870 where he went to take care of relatives. Upon the death of those relatives Elguezabal becomes a rich heiress and decides to invest it in the creation of a theatrical company contributing to social, cultural and educational life and helping in social issues and humanitarian work.

In 1885 he inaugurated the theater of varieties that became an enclosure of the popular classes with theater, political meetings, cinema or circus. It was the opposition to the theater of peñas or principal and was 28 years in operation and in his will the estate for the construction of public schools. “Being a woman, Basque, businesswoman and single shouldn’t have been easy,” says Lekue. Together with Elguezabal, references to women’s sports and education also appear on the mural. – As a central element, two hands appear weaving “to value a work traditionally relegated to the interior of homes. An individual work, indvidualized and done by women, ”he says. The colors travel organically along the longitudinal wall. “We also have overlapping hands that allude to diversity.” Among the threads on the left side are also photographs converted into a drawing of the work that women have developed since ancient times. In law, images of current feminist movements. It concludes with the image of an adult woman with the moon in her hands symbolically of empowerment. All this in what until now was a bland and cold gray wall that has begun to tell a new story.

United Nations

Irantzu Lekue explained that he develops these concepts using the experience “and level of conceptualization” acquired in Geneva, during his stay at the United Nations headquarters with Unesco Etxea. There were six Basque artists accompanied by the director of the center, Arantzazu Acha. “We have been working for a long time on social transformation together with different cultural and educational agents, betting on creating a new cultural ecosystem that values art for art and also bets on using it as a vehicle, as a tool,” he explains. The stay in Geneva was a qualitative leap, a huge step forward in the definition of many projects, including that of murals for social transformation. ” That is the model that is being applied in Derio, reinforcing the ties between the community and demonstrating that this model can be applied in cities like Bilbao, in small towns such as Ubide – of just 170 inhabitants – or of an already important size like Derio ”, it states.