It jumped from the lap of Carolien to that of Rob. As no-one kissed it we still do not know whether this frog was once was a prince or a princess.
Our artists in residence at this moment are are highly productive and gave several performances, Some gave house concerts and participated in a poetry festival in the fortress of Evoramonte.
The first exhibition of this year closed its doors February and the second opened on 25 March. In April we started again focusing of residencies. This newsletter gives some highlights.
Also in this newsletter are impressions of some of the artists in residence in April and May. More will follow soon.
Katharina Fröschl-Roßboth (Austria) was working on four projects during her residency. A very impressive project was a documentary about multiple disabled patients in the swimming pool of the Luís da Silva Centre in Rio dos Moinhos. More info will appear later on her website.
Other projects were lighter. One was PRE-SENT. On 10 April at 0 am, Katharina started photographing shadows in a courtyard. She did it every hour, 24 hours long, the first and last hours at moonlight. This video shows an impression.
The others were a ongoing project on 31-years old women (for which she added our friend and fado singer: Mara) and a portrait of a neighbor: Almarindo and his sheep.
Aurélie Ferrière is a sound artist, currently living and working in Sweden. She made sound compositions using her violin and synthesizer, both in her studio and in nature. She went to a silent open space in a bush, 15 minutes’ walk from the house. There she tried to come in communication with the song birds, mainly finches and nightingales. This video gives and impression. This experiment may become part of a performance that she prepares for bringing on stage in Stockholm.
Aurélie also found collaborations and performed with Matias Ringheim (sculptor and part-time poet) and Beate Schnaithmann (cello).
On her blog Aurelie contemplated on the results of her residency at OBRAS and on her plans for the near future.
Matias Ringheim (Norway) was fascinated by the shadow patterns on the wall caused by the cane mat on his veranda. In drawings and paintings he combined this with another fascination: embroidery. He also made small installations with marble and cork. And to a surprise of all he wrote a night time story: a poem, beautiful and surrealistic, that he read out in two occasions accompanied by Aurélie Ferrèire: one time on piano and another time on synthesizer.
Caroline Färber (Germany) worked on her movie Leben. It tells about living with a mental disorder. It moved all of us, because of its heavy content, but also because it was serene and in the same time humoristic and positive. As a short movie it was rewarded in several events and it will soon be featured on TV in the USA. At OBRAS she was extending and re-editing this movie for to make it ready for a series.
Caroline made also small installations with cork strips. together with titles and one-liners it told about building walls. One one side of a cork wall was a cry: I am dying !, and on the other side: I can´t hear you.
Beate Schnaithmann (Germany) currently lives and works in Switzerland. She brought her cello to study on some new pieces for her ensemble and to explore jazzy works, but she did a lot more. She developed a collaboration with Johannyke Poulsen and Clay Bassford, with whom she played a piece for cello, voice and synthesizer that was created the days before. She also played Ravel with Aurélie Ferrière and she responded with serene tones of her cello on a video by Ingrid Simons showing a flower field waving in the wind, of which the sound of wind was manipulated by Rob Monaghan. And she gave two solo concerts: one during her artist talk in our living room and one during a poetry festival in the fortress of Evoramonte (see below).
Clay Bassford (USA; currently living and working Denmark) worked on sound compositions for which he had already a base and he started several new ones. For these he mixed synthesizer music with, for instance, voices of Portuguese radio and the bells of sheep that scroll around our house. In his artist talk he explained how he developed his work as a sound composer, starting in a New York rock band. In addition he had wonderful collaborations with Johannyke Poulsen and Beate Schnaithmann.
At home Johannyke Poulsen (Denmark) has only very limited space for her visual art work. This was the main reason to gladly accept the biggest studio that we have: 12 x 25 m. And took the full advantage, by working on x-large sized paper. Her subjects are generally flowers and her medium is water colour. Working with big sizes and water colour is a challenge: the water dries fast and there is no time to work on details. She accepted and liked this challenge. She had a beautiful final presentation: see her slide show.
Poetry is a highly valued tradition in Portugal, also on the local scale. On 6 and 7 May LINCEMOZ organised the Festival de Poesia in the fortress of Evoramonte and invited OBRAS to participate. The invitation was gladly accepted by several residents and friends of OBRAS.
Jacqueline Osherow (USA) read three of her poems. Even she did read them in full speed English her message was received by the audience, partly also thanks to her enthusiasm.
Wonderful also was the reading by Cristiana Altino de Almeida (Brazil) of poems of Gerry van der Linden (Holland) from her anthology Uma Estranha no Alentejo (beautifully translated from Dutch into Portuguese by Ana Carvalho). See this page for more info.
Maria Sarmento (Portugal) recited completely by hart a long epic poem of António Gedeão: “Galileu". She proved to be a highly intriguing story teller. Maria has a project together with Gaelle Pelachaud (France). They will have an exhibition in Évora in April 2018. Gaelle will show some of her hundreds of drawings on storks that she made during her residency last year, and Maria will present poems inspired by these drawings.
Beate Schnaithmann (Germany, living in Switzerland) gave a full recital on her cello going from Bach to blues that was highly appreciated between the abundance of spoken words. Her high musical quality overruled the echo of the place. Watch also this video impression.
More info will soon appear on the other residents in April and May: Jacqueline Osherow (poet; USA), Ingrid Simons (painter and ceramist; Holland), Rob Monaghan (multi media; Ireland), Marja Sterck (mixed media; Holland), Miriam Slaats (sculptor; Holland), Rob van Weegen (actor; Holland), Wilma Geldof (writer; Holland), Thomas Speight (scientist; USA) and Willie Marlow (painter; USA).
With the exhibition: De Longe e de Perto, Jacobien De Rooij expresses her attraction to numerous details in both the natural and rural landscape that lack pretention, but show an incredible beauty: a lonely sheep, a hub of marble waste, a chicken in a cage waiting to be sold.
During her annual art residencies in the past six years she started a series of X-large sized drawings (up to 5 x 2 m), some ten of which are now shown in the Palácio dos Marqueses da Praia e Monforte, in Estremoz.
The work of De Rooij is a proposal to look in multiple ways at the world that surrounds us. An important driving force behind her work is the concept of time.
Jacobien de Rooij had had solo exhibitions in The Netherlands Germany, Belgium, UK and Portugal. Her work is in many collections, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Centraal Museum, Utrecht. Her exhibition is supported by the Mondriaan fonds.
The slideshow and youtube video give impressions of the building up, the exhibits and the opening on Saturday 25 March with a musical contribution by Daniel Catarino. The exhibition with run until 21 May.
On the occasion of this exhibition, Marja Sonneveld made a beautiful portrait of Jacobien the Rooij and her way of working.
Also good to know:
Gaëlle Pelachaud (France) published the book she worked on during her residency in 2016. Livres animés, Entre papier et écran is an impressive essay on the history and future of artist books (ISBN 978-2-35017-385-6) and is the popular version of her PhD thesis. One chapter is on the work of Andrea Hasselager (Denmark) who is specialized in computer games. Andrea and Gaëlle met each other during their residency in April 2016 and we decided to organize solo-exhibitions for both of them in the INATEL building in the Centre of Évora in April 2018. Gaëlle´s exhibition will mainly focus on the 130 drawings of a storks family near to her residence, while Andrea´s exhibition is on the love letters of her grandparents that she inherited and read for the first time during her residency.
The hoopoe is one of our winter guests that returns every year. Victoria Cattoni, our last resident of 2016, told us about a sufi-poem written in 1177 in Persia: the birds of the world gather to decide who will become their king. The hoopoe, the wisest of them all, suggests to find the home of the “phoenix”. Each bird represents a fault inhibiting enlightenment. Guided by the hoopoe, the thirty birds finally reach the dwelling place of the phoenix: a lake in which they only see their own reflection. Jacqueline Osherow, one of our first residents in 2017, told that there is also an ancient Jewish myth on the hoopoe. She will tell us later.