Research Seminar on Basque Art

The Department of Modern Languages has organised a Hispanic Studies research seminar on Basque Art. Dr Juan Arana from the University of Liverpool will speak about two of the most significant Basque artists during the 20th century, Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza


“Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza: A Posthumous Confrontation

Wednesday 29th February, 3.00pm
Strathcona Lecture Theatre 6

Drinks reception
All welcome

Jorge Oteiza Enbil (October 21, 1908 – April 9, 2003), was a Basque Spanish sculptor, painter, designer and writer, renowned for being one of the main theorists on Spanish modern art. Oteiza was born in Orio (Gipuzkoa). He moved to South America in 1935, just before the Spanish Civil War, and stayed there for 14 years. In 1963 he published Quosque tandem!, an essay about the aesthetics inherent to Basque soul, based on Basque prehistoric art and Basque people's anthropological roots.

He died in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, in 2003.Following his will, a month after his death a museum dedicated to his career was opened in Alzuza, Navarre, in the place where he had lived since 1975. The Oteiza Museum is a monographic exhibition space housing the personal collection of Jorge Oteiza, which includes 1,690 sculptures, 2,000 experimental pieces from the artist’s Chalk Laboratory, and an extensive collection of drawings and collages.

Eduardo Chillida Juantegui, or Eduardo Txillida Juantegi in Basque, (10 January 1924 – 19 August 2002) was a Spanish Basque sculptor notable for his monumental abstract works.

Chillida's earliest sculptures concentrated on the human form (mostly torsos and busts); his later works tended to be more massive and more abstract, and included many monumental public works.[4] Chillida himself tended to reject the label of "abstract", preferring instead to call himself a "realist sculptor".

From quite early on, Chillida's sculpture found public recognition, and, in 1954, he produced the four doors for the basilica of Arantzazu, where works by other leading Basque sculptors – Jorge Oteiza, Agustin Ibarrola and Nestor Basterretxea – were also being installed. The following year, he carved a stone monument to the discoverer of penicillin, Sir Alexander Fleming, for a park in San Sebastián (it subsequently disappeared, but a new version has been installed on the promenade at San Sebastián bay).

At their best his works, although massive and monumental, suggest movement and tension. For example, the largest of his works in the United States, De Musica is an 81-ton steel sculpture featuring two pillars with arms that reach out but do not touch. Much of Chillida's work is inspired by his Basque upbringing. 

(texts adapted from the Wikipedia)


All students who are interested in obtaining a further qualification in Catalan should note that the Institut Ramon Llull offers the possibility of taking Catalan language exams with international recognition. The exams will be taken in May and June 2012 at the University of Birmingham. There are five different language levels: nivell bàsic, nivell elemental, nivell intermedi, nivell de suficiencia and nivell superior.
Exact dates to be confirmed.

For more information:

Au-pairs needed in the Basque Country

Would you like to go to the Basque Country this summer and live a wonderful experience with a native family? Then, read carefully the following details, as you may find information about some families that are looking for English au-pairs!

The information has been taken from the blog "A Basque in Boise".

Unai Ugarte says: We are a Basque speaking family with two kids ages 3 and 6 months. We live in Biscay, in the town of Lemoiz, 2 miles from the town of Gorliz and 16 miles from Bilbao City.  We are currently looking for an American au pair girl but the ones offering are obviously looking to learn Spanish within their host families. We on the contrary are speaking Basque with our children.  There are several possibilities to be explored to complete the learning process on her stay, according to her interests and profile since the kids are staying at school from 9 am to 4 pm during the week.  We live in an old Basque Home, totally renewed twenty years ago. Last year we renewed the bottom floor and there we have a bathroom and a big bedroom with a studying table, an armchair a TV and internet connection.  Unai Ugarte at

Izaskun Arretxe says: We are a couple with 2 kids (8 months and 3 years old ) living in Aretxabaleta (Basque Country) and we are looking for an english speaker au pair for 3 to 6 months.  The idea is taking care and play with our kids a few hour per day (about 6pm to 8pm) so the rest of the day will be free.  We can offer accomodation and food, anyway, for more details send us an email:

Miren Tere says: Babysitter needed from the beginning of June to the end of August, 2012 (flexible). June will be in Gasteiz, July and August in Lekeitio. The children are 4 and 6 years old, a girl and a boy. The working hours will be 5 1/2 h from Monday to Friday, with a salary or 80 Euros per week. The babysitter will live with the family and will have a private room. All meals are included.
-       Be 18 or older and have some experience taking care of children
-       Speak English and some Basque
For more information write to Miren Tere in Basque at

This is a unique occasion to improve your Basque and visit the Basque Country!