ACCLAIMED Spanish sculptor Cristina Iglesias unveiled Hondalea, a site-specific bronze piece which transforms a disused lighthouse on the island of Santa Clara in the Bay of San Sebastian. 

For Iglesias, it is her first work for home town and one of the most important works in her long career as it represents something of a homecoming. 

Hondalea (Marine Abyss) transforms the lighthouse to create a sculpture sunk into the rock of the island, incorporating the rugged geology of the Basque Country. 

“Hondalea is a work which is related to other works and concepts that I have been dealing with. In this case, I was a bit nervous about doing anything there but then it was the perfect situation because I have been looking at it since I was a child,” she told The Art Newspaper. 

“It is an island which represents the remote but it is in the middle of the city.”

The lighthouse has been abandoned since the 1960s but it has a certain “mystery”, she said. 

Iglesias, who studied chemistry becoming an artist, was allowed to excavate nine metres down into the rock on the island. 

Faro Dron 3
A drone image of the work Hondalea published on the artist’s website.

She has worked closely with the San Sebastian council for the past four years and has donated the work to the city. 

Often working on a vast scale, she has created horizontal fountains, submerged rooms and tropical mazes in works displayed across the world.

Among her best known works are the new doors to the Prado Museum in Madrid, Deep Fountain at the Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp and 13 Resin and Bronze Powder Panels in Sweden.

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