The journey (2002) Jorge Kata Núñez

photo Christian van der Kooy
About the artwork

In the Vogelklas Karel Schot shelter, sick, injured and young birds are cared for. The center is located on the Afrikaanderplein in the heart of the Afrikaanderwijk. In addition to needy birds, other animals, such as hedgehogs and bats, can also be accommodated. In total, more than 8.000 animals end up in the Bird Class every year. Only one in three is strong enough to be released into nature after being cared for for a while. When housing corporation Vestia Rotterdam Feijenoord asked residents of the Afrikaanderwijk to come up with initiatives for their neighbourhood, two residents suggested the idea of ​​placing a work of art on the outer wall of the Vogelklas. Via CBK Rotterdam, the Chilean artist Jorge Kata Núñez was commissioned to make five large murals. They were unveiled on October 23, 2003 by Joke Bruijs: five tropical landscapes with colorful birds that give this district a whole new look. The five paintings on the brick wall together form a whole. Jorge Kata Núñez designed five parts, each with its own theme: the destination, man and nature, the journey, the departure and the bird class. In the first part we see the Netherlands from above. The spoonbill, stork and crane are in the Netherlands. In the left corner we see human figures of various nationalities. The second part 'man and nature' symbolizes the threats to the birds: the industry in the top left corner and the endangered black-tailed godwit in the bottom left corner. The birds have attitudes as if they are in danger. 'The journey' symbolically shows how birds experience the world when they are in the air. The fourth part is 'the departure' and shows the migration of various birds, such as the swallow, crane and swan. They are checked by two figures at the top right. In the last part, Kata has incorporated old children's drawings, which were already present on the wall. We see the species present in the Bird Class, such as sparrows, gulls, swallows and a hedgehog, combined with stylized human faces. Perhaps a reference to the more than a hundred volunteers who work for the animals.

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About the artist

Jorge Kata Núñez (Valdivia, Chile, 1953) was a metallurgical worker. He started his artistic work in the Ramona Parra mural brigade in Valdivia. In 1974 he was arrested by the armed forces of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship and sentenced to 20 years in prison. In 1977 he is sent to the Netherlands and sentenced to 15 years of exile. In 1979 he founded and participated in various mural brigades. In that year he also went to the Free Academy of The Hague. In Rotterdam he took part in various graphic workshops and started to make his own work. He lived and worked in Rotterdam until October 2012, after which he returned to his hometown in Chile. Kata has made more than 60 murals throughout the Netherlands, both in public spaces and in buildings in the Netherlands and Chile. In the beginning he mainly painted murals that appealed to people's sense of solidarity. His paintings, linocuts, books and engravings have been exhibited in various countries.

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Afrikaanderplein 36, 3072 EC Rotterdam, Netherlands


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