Rober Garay, The artist who narrates stories using the Urdaibai landscapes
A comic creator and illustrator with dozens of published albums that have earned him the 2022 prize at the prestigious Salón del Cómic de Getxo, cultural activist and promoter of the Agroskate clothing brand.
Rober Garay (Bilbao, 1964), has been living, inspiring and modifying Urdaibai for more than two decades.
Land-art is one of his great passions. And the Sinfonía Arrecifal, designed and executed in collaboration with the artist Alber Palomera, a strong project whose centrepiece is the Ereño Museum .
Together they form the LePatafisic Cabinet studio, focused on Art and Nature creations in Urdaibai and neighboring areas, with the stamp of a very particular Metaverse. I’ve always considered myself a graphic explorer, I didn’t want to stick to a specific style, or to continually solve stories; I wanted to explore other directions, to push the limits of visual narrative,” says Rober Garay.
At the age of 22 he discovered a communion with the sea. “An absolute animal paradise. And I decided to stay here for good. It’s an emotional shock, and at that time I already realised that Urdaibai was going to give me a lot on an emotional and mental level”, he points out.
Rober began to feel the need to “articulate a creation linked to nature in an organic way” with its own narratives and textures.
“I see that I can develop with the organic elements I find in nature itself. More than 15 years ago I started to create structures in the forest that had to do with landart: big humanoids”. These were “xylophage-ridden” trunks “made up of tree-like structures, some of which were alive, which he left in the depths of the forest”. Photographs of many of them, and others, are compiled in the book‘Arte Brutto Naturalis 3.0’
Land-art Different initiatives, cultural collectives and organised guided tours.
Different initiatives, cultural collectives and organised guided tours. “That changed my perception of how I could tell stories, not just with a comic book or just a graphic novel with the usual printed graphic narrative” says the artist. Together with the university professor and painter Alber Palomera, Rober Garay designs a project related to “the darkest Urdaibai,
the most unexpected Urdaibai, the invisible Urdaibai, which is the one that remains hidden under the substratum, the one that hides under the ground we walk on or under the marine surface; that’s where the Sintonía Arrecifal project begins”.
Museum of Ereño
The Ereño red marble quarries offer an experience related to the origin of this stone millions of years ago.
A carefully reconditioned granary houses a surprising interpretation centre that allows visitors to enjoy a guided tour along a route of artistic
interventions that travels through space and time (the Cretaceous).
The tour is free, audio guides are available and you only need to request a password from Ereño Town Hall to access the Museum. It is well worth it.
But the work is still in progress. “We have been working in the Ereño quarry, we have worked in Morga, we have projects underway in Arteaga, we have the dome in Busturia”, says Garay, who is excited to see how what he had sketched in his notebook is coming to life.
This is how the already impressive landscape of Urdaibai is being transformed into a modern and surprising open-air gallery of contemporary art. It is located in a very close area to a great Land-art icon: the Bosque de Oma, created by Agustín Ibarrola in the early 80s of the last century.
An experience open to all Tunes.
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