Portugal has only few infections and the lock down will largely be lifted on 18 May. Public transport in Portugal runs a limited schedule. A bigger problem is international transport to Portugal.
We were closed for two months, cancelled two exhibitions and lived in splendid isolation. We rescheduled quite some residencies. But on 4 May the first resident arrived: Helen Butler.
This newsletter tells about the two cancelled exhibitions, about the first residents of 2020 and about results of previous residencies.
Claudia Tomaz (Portugal; living in the UK) took two residencies OBRAS in the past years. She just finished The Soul Journey, a long term project that resulted in a movie and a book. It is a kind of poetic autobiography and spiritual essay. Largely based on her own experiences, sometimes traumatic, sometimes beautiful, Claudia explored themes such as uncertainty, impermanence, energy, healing and living in harmony with nature. Claudia gave us a private preview. We watched it with twelve friends and nearly all we impressed. We also felt it a celebration of the approaching end of the lock down.
The Mirror Between Us is an exhibition that was cancelled due to the corona pandemic. We made a video to show part of the exhibition and the works of its two artists, Sherry Wiggins (USA) and Luís Branco (Portugal). Above is the English version. We also made a Portuguese version of the video.
The Mirror Between Us is about the archetype of a middle-aged woman in a mythical landscape. It is a project about aging, the human-nature relationship and beauty.
The exhibition is rescheduled for the spring of 2021, in the same venue: Igreja de S. Vicente, Évora Portugal.
We created a special page on this website, with more background information on this exhibition and the artists.
Also Ressonânçias da Terra, an exhibition of Ingrid Simons, had to be postponed to next year. A pity, also because it was intended to be part of celebrating her tenth residency at OBRAS-Portugal.
In 2010 Ingrid Simons (Holland) had her first residency OBRAS. She fell in love with Alentejo at first sight. This grew into a strong and lasting love.
Looking back it is clear that she adapted her style and vision on landscape painting in these 10 years. First she was interpreting what see saw and was seeking what a landscape awakens in her. Over the years she increasingly felt that the raw nature of Alentejo became a part of her being. She shifted from interpreting nature to experiencing nature. As a result, she now paints more intuitively. Her landscapes have become more abstract and more atmospheric. We made a special page for Ingrid on this website with impressions of her works and exhibitions of the past 10 years.
Carla Gonzalez (Portugal, currently living in Cape Town, South Africa) is working on a rural development project in a nature reserve in Mozambique. Goal is creating a better future for both nature and people. As Carla knows the local communities from previous projects she is now largely responsible for monitoring the societal results. The communities live a very sustainable life with a near-to-zero-ecological footprint, but their life is also harsh, with risks that are technically avoidable. This makes defining criteria for monitoring the results much more than an administrative job.
Central theme for Carla is bringing balance. She applies this in her professional and personal life. And in her passion: gong massage (in this case a balance between body and mind; she recently got her certification).
In Febrary-March Léon Biezeman (Holland) had a residency at OBRAS Holland. He was working on the finishing touch of his book Hein en het Makkelijk Lezen Plein (“Hein and the Easy Reading Square”). It is a book for 7-12 years-old children with dyslexia. Hein, the head character of the book meets other children who like him like books that are easily readable.