Autumn in Portugal is an extended summer. We picked the grape and fig and are waiting for the quince and pomegranate.
On 6 October EU SOU DO TAMANHO DO QUE VEJO was brought on stage: a musical performance on 6 October by Paul Godwin, Miguel Noya and Amee Evans, with participations of Guilherme Leal, Nélia Pinheiro and Luís Pintassilgo.
MARCADO PELO TEMPO, an exhibition of ceramics of Yvonne Halfens is still running until 19 October.
White Works was the title for an exhibition with Phil Moody (USA) in the Palácio dos Marqueses da Praia e Montforte, in Estremoz. Much more information is on the residents 2018 page.
A beautiful catalogue is available at OBRAS and the artist.
Parts of the exhibition will be shown next year in Évora and in several locations in South Carolina (USA). For this Phil started a collaboration this the GeoScience department of Évora University.
Yvonne Halfens (Holland) had an exhibition of her ceramic work in the fortress of Evoramonte (closed on 19 October). The slide show gives an impression. Yvonne made a beautiful artist statement for this exhibition:
My portraits do not refer to a concrete person, but to his reflections on human being. I created this exhibition after a few experiences in Portugal.
Recently I saw in Évora an old wooden statue of a saint, with an unknown creator. The statue was beautiful, but the woodworm had made it a masterpiece. The decay and the imperfection gave it history and extra quality.
Many Portuguese churches have statues of saints, consisting only of a head and chest on a wooden frame where the dress had been draped around. Somehow shocking to know that so much holiness is based on a few wooden slats. But it is also so much more human than it seems.
When you read the classical philosophers, it is surprisingly clear that nothing has changed in our psyche. My portraits in this exhibition are often forgotten people are often forgotten people, sometimes eroded by time. But also earthy, timeless, ordinary and unique, just like us.
Amee Evans Godwin (USA) came to work on a video that will be part of the musical theatre performance I am the size of what I on 6 October in Évora (see elsewhere in this newsletter for more info). In addition she made drawings and small installations. Many of them were inspired by the sense of transiency that she experienced at her visits to an abandoned marble quarry and the ruins of a convent. Especially impressive were her anatomical drawings of muscles and bones on marble shatters that she combined with a text of Pessoa on a playing card.
Dany Diaz Mejia (Honduras; currently living and working in San Salvador) is an emerging writer from the countryside of Honduras. He had a terrible, life changing experience that brought him to writing. A relative was found murdered after sadistic torture and it was his task to retrieve the body from the morgue. Writing proved to help him to overcome his trauma. Dany was directly rewarded for his first short stories. At OBRAS he was working on 13 short stories, all playing in rural life of Honduras. Although he uses the humor and irony of how people of his village talk and live, most of his stories are heavy in content and psychology. In his artist talk he read a story that he just finished: about a fire in a prison in 2012 that killed 359 prisoners, most of them waiting for their trial. The story tells about the guard responsible for the keys, did not dare to pass the keys to the prisoners for them to escape their cells. We were all impressed and shocked.
Before going to OBRAS, James Bell (UK) spent some days in Lisbon. He got inspired by the “azulejos”: the blue-white tiles that cover the walls of many ancient houses and churches. At home James generally paints in a very colourful and abstract impressionistic style. But at OBRAS he decided to work with few colours (often blue and white) and often in a tiles format. He often playfully referred to the azulejos by using their decorative motives, but adding prints of veils or male nudes. The slideshow gives an impression.