It is the first phase of the ‘Bidearen Aztarnak’ project in which the Provincial Council of Álava wants to value the Vía Verde/ Green Way del Vasco-Navarro
45 pictorial interventions were developed that refer to the history of the Vasco Navarro train and its surroundings
In the project, funded by the Environment Department, silicate paints, created from natural minerals, were used.
MAEZTU The artist Irantzu Lekue concluded her artistic intervention in the tunnel of Leorza – Cicujano. It was part of the project ‘Bidearen Aztarnak. Footprints of the road’, in which the Provincial Council of Alava wants to value the greenway of the Vasco-Navarro, recovering the memory of “the little train” and towns of Alava that it travelled through.
It is the result of the work that Lekue carried out over the last month and where the neighbours from the Alavesa Mountain club took part and can now be visited. ” neighbours from Apillaniz, Maeztu, Elortza, Atauri and Santa Cruz de Campezo all took part,” explains the artist. A community work in which people of all ages participated “taking advantage of the fact that we also worked during Holy Week and the San Prudencio holiday, when schools and ikastolas were closed.”
In total, 45 pictorial interventions were developed on concrete slabs and installed in the work carried out by the Provincial Council of Araba to reinforce the tunnel and improve its condition. The pictorial motifs that were included refer to milestones and issues related to the Vasco Navarro train and its construction. “We incorporated the stories that have survived from generation to generation and we must highlight the great work and contributions of experts such as Javier Suso or Javier López de Luzuriaga who made improvements, proposed adjustments and improved the project,” she explains.
Visitors coming by bicycle or on foot will enjoy a different experience from today, explains Lekue. “This is a new presentation in which we explain what the train’s entrance in the area meant. We mentioned accidents; explain the animals that can be found; the wild boars, the trout or the pigeons, and, we look at the characters in the area such as, for example, the anarchist doctor of Maeztu Isaac Puente ”. These interventions were illustrated with silicate paints, created from natural minerals that, according to the artist, “respecting the environment as it reacts when in contact with concrete”.
An intervention that enriches the experience of people who every weekend and, especially, in summer, come to enjoy the Via Verde del Vasco Navarro, on foot or by bicycle, with over 220,000 visitors a year. “. A cycling couple from Holland, for example, congratulated me and spent a long-time taking photos. We were also talking to three Frenchmen carrying saddlebags who were also pleasantly surprised,” she explains. Similar experiences have been developed in other greenways such as the Urola or in others known worldwide as the Danube. Araba’s has instead created it in a long tunnel that extends 330 metres.
The project was the initiative of the Department of Environment of the Provincial Council of Álava, who opted to aesthetically adapt the tunnel after the renovation and stabilization of the infrastructure. It is a piece of work of the artist Irantzu Lekue and the architect Izaskun Urkijo, who counted on the collaboration of experts such as Javier Suso or Javier Lopez de Luzuriaga.