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Femmes de l'Ombre à la Lumière

In collaboration with the Town Hall of St Jean Pied de Port and with Les Bask'elles, a cultural association dedicated to promoting awareness of the role of women in Basque society, we are organizing an exhibition of paintings by six female artists:

Les Bask'elles are showing 16 panels recounting the lives of women who have contributed to the history of the Basque Country, including two specially designed for Saint-Jean -Pied-de-Port: Marijane Minaberry and Catherine Lapistoy.

In parallel, we are showing paintings by Lorentxa Beyrie (Cambo), Josette Dacosta (St Jean Pied de Port), Colette Dubuc (Larressore), Marie-Hélène Echevarria (Cambo), Maritxu Juantorena (Baigorry) and Miren Laxague (St Palais),

Open every day except Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The artists

Lorentxa Beyrie

(Cambo, 1975)

A Basque activist who was recently released after nearly 20 years in prison, during which she discovered painting as a way of expressing herself and preserving her freedom of thought. Self-taught, she paints in pastels, communicating moments of hope, happiness or sadness.

Josette Dacosta

(Bordeaux, 1944)

Inspired by the landscapes and rural architecture of the Basque Country, she creates vibrant abstract paintings in which colour and texture dominate. Based in St Jean Pied de Port, she has devoted much of the last 20 years to developing the artistic sensitivity of children through workshops and exhibitions for local school groups.

Colette Dubuc

(St. Jacques de la Lande, 1934)

Following studies at the School of Fine Arts in Rennes she joined the studio of artist Robert Tatin, one of the emblematic figures of Art Brut, traveling with him and two other students to Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in the early 1950s. As an exponent of "fantastic realism", she participated in the "Le Grenier d'Ustaritz" movement during the 1960s, before exploring other parts of France and the world.

Marie-Hélène Echevarria

(Cambo, 1925)

For years, she drew and painted scenes from her daily life, portraits of her husband, the sculptor Jesus Echevarria (who died in 2009), and of her cats and other pets. Today she continues with still lifes, often using recycled cardboard boxes. She paints in oils and pastels and produces ink drawings and watercolors. Her paintings combine a natural cheerfulness with a sense of melancholy, giving rise to works of luminous tenderness.

Maitxu Juantorena

(Saint Etienne de Baigorry, 1969)

She studied at the School of Applied Arts in Gironde and lived in Paris and on the Basque Coast before returning to her native village where she has her studio. Her colourful paintings, imbued with floral delicacy, lead us into a dreamlike world of fantasy.

Miren Laxague

(Saint Palais, 1979)

She studied Beaux-Arts in Pau and in Nantes and she lives and works in Anglet. Painting in watercolours, ink and acrylics, she specializes in the psychological study of invented characters who form the sensitive, whimsical and sometimes melancholy "inhabitants" of an imaginary residence, "Maison Ancolia".

Place: Prison des Evêques

Town: Donibane Garazi