The life of Nacho Zubelzu is marked by his passion for art and nature that emerges from the fascination that comes from the environment of the Valle de Campo in Cantabria, Spain. He gets inspired by his own experiences in the local mountains to internalize the beauty of the natural elements and to capture them in artistic forms: in paintings, photographs, sculptures, large format installations, performances and small illustrations. The artist, who has never drawn a dividing line between painting and sculpture, but rather combines the two areas, uses the repetition and variation that generate sequences in which an analysis of the ideas, sensations and feelings is approached.
In recent years his trips to Africa (Kenya and Gambia) and Asia (China and Mongolia), or to places of overflowing nature, such as the Atacama desert in Chile or the Andes, have inspired his most recent work, in which he collects the profile and the footprint, the essence of nature and people. Through his paintings he takes each person on a nomadic journey to the world they desire. And with his “golden marks" he gives attention to the forgotten and deteriorated objects, returning their lost dignity. Another source of inspiration is the transhumance which takes place twice a year. He joins the nomadic shepherds of Extremadura and Andalusia and moves sheep and cows through the Spanish ravines, searching for the two springs.
He was recognized as "Best Cantabrian Artist" in 2004, an award granted by the Government of Cantabria. He also received several national and international awards. First Prize at Premio de Dibujo Antonio del Rincón, First Prize at Premio de Pintura Casimiro Sainz de Reinosa, First Prize in the Lino Casimiro Iborra Painting Competition of Santoña, First Prize at Premio de Dibujo Antonio Revelles de Colmenar Viejo (Madrid), First Prize at Premio Cabuérniga de Investigación sobre Culturas Rurales de Cabezón de la Sal. He was a finalist at the II José Amat International Drawing Biennial in Girona and received Honorable Mention in the Caja España Painting Prize, among others. In 2016 he received the second prize of the Plastic Arts Contest of the Government of Cantabria. His work was exhibited in the Palacete del Embarcadero, in the Sala Robayera de Miengo, in the Beijing Art Fair in China, in the Cervantes Institute in Tokyo, in the Art Setup Fair in Bologna and the JustMad Contemporany Art Fair in Madrid. In addition, he works with the Honos Art gallery in Rome.
He has illustrated several publications about nature and has given Nature Drawing courses at the Menéndez Pelayo International University in the Santander and Seville offices. He currently participates in transhumance projects with the Asociación Trashumancia y Naturaleza. He also organises courses to investigate the aesthetics of natural environment through the creation of Field Notebooks (originally Cuadernos de Campo), in which students put the improvisation techniques and materials into practice in order to achieve a personal naturalistic drawing. In addition, he conducts drawing workshops in Gambia and Kenya.
During the months of June and July 2016 his work was part of an exhibition at the WhiteBox gallery in Beijing's 798 art district, and traveled to Mongolia to capture the most ancestral essence of nomadic people through his art. He completed his project in 2017 with his artistic compositions in Chile, Argentina and Brazil and an individual exhibition in Rome. In 2018 he did several performances in Vietnam and exhibited his work at Luxemburg Art Fair. This year he exhibited at Affordable Art Fair Milan and in May his work will be displayed in Portugal at JustLX Lisboa Contemporary Art Fair and the First Delong Steel International Sculpture Symposium in Tangshan, China.