María López and Javier de Riba are the creative force behind the Spain-based art collective Reskate Studio. Originally formed to upcycle discarded skateboards, they have since applied their unique vision to a range of disciplines. One of their most recent endeavors is called the Harreman Project, from the Basque word for relationship. Inspired by reminiscence and etymology, it features striking murals that light up after dark.
Each work in the series is created with photo-luminescent paint to enhance a particular element of the design at night. “Through the use of lights, the observer becomes an active participant; interacting with the work and creating its response to those actions,” Reskate Studio explains. “By these interventions in the public space the intention is to light up dark corners of cities, both installing new lights and encouraging citizens to interact with the wall, painting with light on it.”
Their newest addition to the Harreman Project is titled Eulalia, meaning “well-spoken” in Greek. It is painted on the façade of a tall white building and depicts a young female figure holding a potted plant. The subject is based on Eulalia, the patron saint of the Spanish town Mérida (Extremadura), and freedom of expression. “She was a girl, who in the 4th century, at the age of 12, confronted the established power to demand freedom and respect for her beliefs,” Reskate Studio continues. “The governor of Lusitania rejected her opinion and tortured her in retaliation. It is said that a mist appeared to cover that atrocity.”
The artist collective translates this story into its art by creating half of the composition with photo-luminescent paint. During the day, the figure's body and the plant are clearly visible. But at night, the mist has a neon blue glow to imbue the art with magic and illuminate the building.