Etxea means “house” in Basque, and it is the word used to refer to the ancestral or family home. Members of the family who lives there are known by the name of their etxea, rather than by their surname. The etxea is a powerful force for social and family relations.
In visual terms, I have long been fascinated by the geometrical structure of the façades of traditional Basque farmhouses. In the 1990s and early 2000s, I focused on depicting individual farmsteads. Later, as my work tended more towards abstraction, my Etxea paintings no longer represented specific buildings but they still retained the grid-like structure typical of Basque farmhouse façades.
In some of these paintings I included organic materials such as straw, sheep’s wool and dried sheep droppings, to convey what for me is the essence of the rural part of the Basque Country. The criss-cross format supports the colours and textures that express my passion for these buildings.