When I see a child who is 5 or 6, I can’t believe that when I was that age I wanted to be a sculptor. I don’t remember it, but my family has told me so countless times. A few years later, in the family woodworking shop, I was set on making things that were different from what was normally made there – and, as is to be expected, I came up against a lot of difficulties that I didn’t know how to handle. My dad would help me out, and I persisted, continuing on until I had achieved something that was close to what I had imagined.
We lived –and I still live and work– in Bakaiku, a small village surrounded by forest and located between the Urbasa and Aralar mountain ranges, under the watchful gaze of the majestic Beriain. So, since I was little, I have always been attracted to the forest –something that is always the same yet different every time– with its trees vertically connecting the heavens and the Earth, the rustling of the leaves, the light which peeks through all the greenery, the penetrating scent of wood and moisture, and that sense of stillness, silence, and mystery that it conveys.
When I was 20, I left everything to go to Madrid and study Fine Arts at San Fernando; and from there I went to Rome, as I got a scholarship for a stay at the Academy. It was a fruitful time in which I was immersed in art and culture in all their forms: literature, film, architecture, sculpture, painting, art history, etc…. Everything interested me. I was slowly discovering an exciting world, and Rome was a dream come true that I experienced with my eyes wide open so as not to miss anything.
At that time of my life, I was dabbling between figurative and abstract art – and today I continue to do the same. At the beginning, I was only doing figurative art; however, in the third year of my degree, I began to work with the articulation of the cube into three elements, which brought me to explore basic geometric shapes and their development. I am seduced by the thought that, both in macro and micro scale, we are pure geometry.
My work is always an exploration of space that ends up materializing in the form of planes, prisms, furniture, sculpture, and tree trunks that embrace emptiness as an important part of the work.
I have a compelling need to work, to extract hidden secrets from the subject; I need to carry out ideas, projects, that are much more numerous than the number of years that I have left to do them – and I am always encouraged by the naïve idea that art is necessary and makes us better.
After me, the sculptures will continue to tell their stories in silence.
Jose Ramón Anda
Photography: José Luis López de Zubiría.