HOW I GOT MY GOAT
It is no coincidence that many of the creatures that came out of my pencils have horns and goat shapes. Don’t get it wrong. It’s not that I “get my goat” all the time. I believe… It has to do with my genes and those of my ancestors.
My ancestors lived in a small village called Lendoño (land of pastures), in the mountains of the Basque Country. As a kid, my grandma Leo used to tell me incredible stories about her childhood in the mountains. She was born into a family of shepherds. In fact, my family are still called “The Goat Shepherds” in the area. It’s funny how, during a visit to the village, the kids, who really didn’t know me, they ran after me and calling me: “Little goat, little goat!”
The way of life of my ancestors was extremely tough. The children had to work since a very early age to help sustain the life of the family. My 5-year-old grandmother would shepherd goats, care for animals, till and do all kinds of rural jobs. In the winter, the conditions were very hard and they were always watchful for the presence of the wolf. My great-grandfather Baldomero, a Basque gigantic man who was called “Boot twister”, he would get lost in the mountains for weeks and he’d come back carrying a dead wolf on his shoulders, exhibiting it at the villages in the area in exchange for a few coins.
For thousands of years, the feminine energy was very presents in many of these ancestral cultures. In the Basque Country, the culture was mainly matriarchal. My great-grandmother Francisca took care of 11 children, the land and the house. Completely unlettered, Francisca had a born gift to heal bones and muscles with her hands . The local neighbors would come to her for relief. Although they were called “witches” to invalidate the power of female energy, these women were indeed healers and shamans. And I feel that we all have an animal inner energy, a magical connection with life that, just like the faun, is waiting for us to reconnect.
“The Waiting Faun” drawing and other sketches and paintings from my book “Visions from the Mummified Wood” (2011) can be seen in my retrospective exhibition.
IMAGINARIUM / Visions of Sounds
Saturday 21st October, 5 -9 PM
Sunday 22nd October, 11 -1 PM
843 Hiawatha Artspace Lofts
Seattle, Central District