The wine cathedral
The walls in the Solar de Samaniego winery (Laguardia, Álava, Spain) almost talk to you. The columns of the old, 10-metre-high, concrete wine tanks have come to life thanks to the work of the Australian mural painter, Guido Van Helten, who has decorated the tanks with the faces of seven people from the area to reflect the creation processes of literature and wine.
The first face is that of Rafael Bauza, a winery employee who has worked here for 40 years. Van Helten has taken advantage of the uneven surface and the texture of the concrete to define his subject’s features, successfully managing to bring life to a place that up until now had been abandoned. He aims to ‘capture people by means of portraits and human elements, and combine them with industrial spaces’. ‘I want the figures to stand like statues in a cathedral, which I think are beautiful places to visit,’ he says. The project has been named ‘The Wine Cathedral’ and forms part of the winery’s extensive vino-cultural programme titled ‘Drinking Between the Lines’.