Mural by Djoels in Basque Country.
Djoels: A few months ago, I enrolled in a sort of selection round to be able to do a mural in the Basque Country. Out of the (more than) 400 applications, 2 artists were chosen: one artist from Gran Canaria and Djoels. We were given a 13-meter-high by 8-meter-wide wall to work on. For 5 days, we were given a tour, information, and the opportunity to get to know the town. It’s a harbor town surrounded by mountains, slightly bigger than Egem but with a similar mentality. Everyone knows everyone, and stories spread quickly. People take care of each other, and history is kept alive.
Gabriel, my model, a retired kind man with a characterful gaze, stood out to me the most. He spent his life at sea, months away from home catching fish. I heard thrilling stories, including those of women and children who stayed on the mainland, fearing whether their father would return safely. Now he makes miniature boats. A true artist!
Every day, I ate fish, learned how to clean and prepare fresh fish. I walked in the harbor and then in the mountains. I tasted the food they made on the boats when they were away from home for months, sometimes with only 3 ingredients. And yet, it was delicious!
For two weeks, I lived like most people here, adopting a sort of integrated intermittent fasting, taking siestas, and enjoying pintxos (local tapas). I quickly adapted to the lifestyle here, but I still miss my home, my dog, and my loved one immensely!
I think after reading this, the work speaks for itself. Now, I just need to enjoy Bilbao a little longer, and then I’ll head back home on Saturday, towards my steak with fries and the West Flemish language.
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