Lead Artist: Veronica Werckmeister
Assistant: Christina Werckmeister
Size: 990 m2
Location: Interior La Salve Bridge, Avenida de las Universidades 1, Bilbao
Best view: Avenida de las Universidades 1, Guggenheim Museum explanade
Based on a creative process that reflected on values for peace in the Basque Country: memory, future, diversity, tolerance, understanding, empathy, among others. The final work explores the basic idea of freedom of expression; the need to speak, of openness to others, that we all have as individuals and as a society.
Two women of different ages are in open dialogue. They are supported by a background of lace, a series of knots that illustrate the complexity of their relationship. Bright strips of color “weave” their way through their heads and their hearts, their intellect and their emotions. These are the contributions of many people who collaborated on this project with their own visions of the theme, by painting on pieces of technical cloth, which we then adhered to the wall. These multi-colored “ribbons” metaphorically represent a statement in favor of the complexity of rich expression, far from simple judgment or easy “lesson teaching”.
One of the women wears an interesting earring, giving the work its title: Giltza bat / una Llave / a Key. A great Basque artist, Peli Romarategi, lent us a curious little book, published in Argentina in 1947: Arquitectura Popular y Grafía Vasca, (Popular Basque Architecture and graphical Symbols,) by John de Zabalo. The author describes how “attributes that show the professions or work of the dead person are very often used on tombstones by the Basques. They give a very interesting hieroglyphic aspect to the composition.” On page 139 we discovered that the symbol for Women was a key!
We decided to take the key, as symbol, but not only for women, but for everyone´s expression. The key, one of many we humans carry on our key-chains. We can choose to use to close or to open a lock, depending on our objective. In this case, the key serves to unlock words and “set them free”. This freedom is also a key, among others, for understanding and empathy.
The process for this participative mural was designed by Verónica y Christina Werckmeister with the cooperation of Bakeola, as an opportunity to approach the topic of social cohesion in the basque Country from a personal and smotional point of view, and with the objective of providing a space for freedom of expression.
Jonan Fernández, secretary General for Peace and Co-existence, called on politacl parties to "permanent dialog" in order to reach "consensus for co-existence". Fernández spoke at the official dedication of the mural Giltza Bat / A Key, organized by the City Council of Bilbao and other social agents in support of the Cultura of Peace and non-violence on the occasion of International Peace Day, which commemorates the death of Mahatma Gandhi.
The secretary general for Peace and co-existence, Jonan Fernández, called on the political parties to intensify dialogue as a means to reaching "conseunsus for co-existence" ". Fernández spoke at the institutional dedication of the Mural Giltza Bat / A Key, organized by the city of Bilbao and various social agents, in an event in support of the culture of peace and non-vioence on the occasion of the International Peace Day , celebrated each year of the anniversary of the death of Mahatma Gandhi.