We closed the residency season and now have more time to work on the exhibitions of next year: for Gaelle Pelachaud, Andrea Hasselager, Phil Moody and Yvonne Halfens.
It is also the time of the year to harvest olives and pomegranates from the trees that we planted some years ago. And quite a crucial job is to make the fences of our vegetable garden rabbit-proof.
Kevin Morrow (USA) Had a beautiful exhibition in the Caste of Evoramonte, entitled: Diáspora: see this page for more information and a video impression. The exhibition is part of an ongoing project “The Great Exchange”, for which he may re-use some of the sculptures. Until than they wait with patience in our fruit garden.
Sherry Wiggins (conceptual artist; USA) was at OBRAS in January for a great solo exhibition (see youtube clip) and came back in October for a photoshoot with master photographer Luis Branco (Portugal). Sherry was photographer in nature and mostly in water. The images show a strong, mythical human-nature relation. They also suggest nature embracing a middle-aged woman. Some seem to tell about (re-)birth, life (excitement and reflection) and death.
Although at this moment OBRAS has its winter-stop for small renovations and for preparing the next activities for year, we still had a few residents and will have a few more.
Theo van Delft (Holland) experimented with 360-degrees photography. For this he threw a wire over the lake of a marble quarry (50 meters; an amazing achievement by itself), hung his camera on that wire, guided it to mid above the lake and shoot by remote control. The result was a set of images that are surrealistic and abstract, alien and hallucinating and above all very beautiful.
Theo also worked on a 360-degrees video with dancers.
Marijke Schurink (Holland) made intimate, small installations with found objects and experimented with light-sensitive paper. She used the forms of portraits, Portuguese tiles and necklaces as a based and combined it with natural elements, marble chips and yarn.
In addition, Theo and Marijke made videos of Theo picking acorns and of Marijke Schurink dancing with a huge bush.
Their works were presented at the end of their residency on 6 January (Three-Kings-day). We invited around 30 friends and it became a memorable event due to their beautiful exhibitions, but also because of a small concert by Mauro Dilema (piano), Andreia Vaz (violin) and Eva Pelgröm (violin), the very good food and wine and the friendly atmosphere. Have a look at the slideshow for an impression of the works of Theo and Marijke, and of the party.
Kirsten Beets (South Africa) had a residency in OBRAS Holland, partly to feel her Dutch roots (her father´s family was from Holland), but also to study the human-nature relationship. She considered that the relation with nature in Holland must be very diffident if you live in a country so densely populated as Holland. She made a beautiful set of oil paintings.
Lucy Stuart-Clarck (South Africa) was at OBRAS-Holland to re-visit the Kröller-Muller art Museum and the national park the Hoge Veluwe. Her first visit was in 2012 and this time she decided to leave her camera home and to just take her sketchbook. She made many sketches, collages and oil paintings, and a collected lots of objects found in the surroundings. With the combination of drawings, paintings and found objects she intends making collages and installations.
We evaluating the applications for residencies of next year and working on the exhibitions of next year: for Gaelle Pelachaud, Andrea Hasselager, Phil Moody and Yvonne Halfens.
Gaëlle Pelachaud (France) will have an exhibition: ÁUREAS (Refleçcoes duma Segonha), in the INATEL building in the Centre of Évora: from 19 April until 19 May 2018 During her artistic residencies in 2016 and 2017 at OBRAS Foundation OBRAS in Evoramonte, Gaëlle made hundreds of drawings of storks, especially of the storks nest at the abandoned railway station of Evoramonte. She will show several these drawings, partly in the form of artistic installations. Ideas that still have to be developed in more detail are to make a “real” storks nest on a pole and to lay a drawing of the floor that shows the landscape in a birds eye view.
Gaëlle Pelachaud creates artist books (some of them will be shown in vitrines). At this moment she is creating an artist book entitled Áureas, together with the bookbinder Jão Ruas. In this artist book several poems by Maria Sarmento will be published. Maria Sarmento (Evora) wrote a series of poems inspired by the work of Gaëlle Pelachaud. The poems are in Portuguese with a translation in French. The artist book will be ready for presentation at the opening of the exhibition.
Andrea Hasselager (Danmark, currently living in Berlin) will have an exhibition: Love letters, also from 19 April until 19 May 2018 in the INATEL building in Évora. Andrea has a specialty in digital storytelling and game design. During her residencies in 2015, 2016 and 2107 at OBRAS she worked on a project in which central is an envelope that she got from her grandparents with their instruction to open it only after their decease. She came to Portugal to open the envelope on an inspiring place. It contained letters that her grandparents wrote to each other in the first years of the 2nd world war. Andrea is preparing a multi-media presentation that includes a collage of postcards and text fragments that she found in the envelope, a video that shows her opening the envelope and a computer game with which the visitor of the exhibition can experience act of discovering this type of both historical and personal information..
WHITE WORKS is the working title for an exhibition with Phil Moody (USA), scheduled for 30 June – 15 September in the Palacio dos Marqueses da Praia e Montforte, Estremoz. Phil Moody came in 2014 and 2015 for making photo portraits of workers in the marble quarries. Very exceptional was that Phil got permission to make a documentary of workers deep in a marble quarry of Estremoz. He intends making some ten 2x2m photo mosaics. In addition he wants to make a book where these images are combined with information on marble: the history, geology, economy and especially the life of the workers. For this he wants have marble workers interviewed by students of the industrial archaeology department of Évora University. He is especially interested in the stories of retired employees: they started when it was common to bring water to the workers with a donkey, they experienced the booming of the marble sector, but also the decline and the crisis that seems to be structural of this sector.
Yvonne Halfens (Holland) will get an exhibition of her ceramic work in the fortress of Evoramonte in August - September 2018 (exact dates will soon be announced). The working title: IF IT IS IN MY HEAD IT IS EVEYWHERE refers to most of her objects being human heads. The majority was baked at the Irmas Flor, a famous pottery in Estremoz.
In some cases the head will be used as a screen for a video. Apart from exhibiting individual objects Yvonne intends to make an installation and have an open atelier in the Castle.
While preparing this exhibition Yvonne was considering that the Castle of Evoramonte could be seen as the body of her heads. On the other hand, the Castle interior is a very empty and pure architectural space that triggers a feeling of human absence. To place heads in this human void is like the visitors who come, look around and go, leaving behind an empty building. They remain separate entities.