Guidelines - OBRAS Portugal
We look forward hosting you at OBRAS. We hope that you will feel released from ongoing business, family concerns, and consumerism. You may find paths that lead to unexpected fields, or lead to nowhere but still make sense. Apart from giving you space for working, we can also organise events in collaboration with you. Sometimes we organise an “open atelier”, concerts, exhibitions and cultural evenings in which you can participate. Possibilities exist to create land art objects around the house and surroundings.
In your application you will define a project or goal for your residency and summarise your professional achievements. Within three weeks we let you know whether we can invite you. Assessment criteria are: professionalism; our presumption that we can meet your expectations; and that your residency will not be in conflict with other simultaneous residencies.
If you fly to Lisbon you will take the express bus to Évora or Estremoz and we will pick you up from the bus station. Depending on your wishes we could stop on the way at a supermarket for a first shopping, or go directly to the Centre and your apartment.
The day after your arrival we arrange a meeting with you to show you the buildings and direct surroundings and to talk about your project and expectations. Also at the beginning of your residency we request two telephone numbers of relatives who we can call in case of emergency.
Although the general rule is that much of your time at OBRAS is yours to organise, we are always available for advice, support or feedback. If you would like we can make an appointment with you for a weekly meeting to discuss your plans, the progress in your work, desired contacts, the organisation of a show and so on. During your residency at OBRAS we request you to give an informal presentation concerning your work to fellow artists at the Centre.
Professional artist materials can be bought in Évora in the shop of the Arts Department of Evora University, although their assortment is not unlimited. Some materials (such as paper and semi professional paint) can be bought in Estremoz. You can also order in advance. We have good experiences with Quadrimóvel Lda (www.quadrimovel.com). They have stores in Lisbon, but are also cheap and fast with transport to our Centre. Their products are good and reasonable in price. Check www.pontodasartes.com for ordering or contacting them. They speak English. Telf: +351 21 431 4830 Fax: +351 21 431 2166.
Of course you can take materials with you or send them in advance by post.
The quality of the regional marble is highly valued by sculptors. You can collect it for free around the quarries. We have only basic tools and no electrical sculpting equipment. Working inside abandoned quarries is a great experience, but be aware that there will be no electricity and that generally you have to arrange your own transport. Cork is a regional product with artistic potential as well. It is striped from the bark in summer and stored and manufactured in factories in the region. We have a good quality piano and flute, and a guitar and some other instruments that are more suitable for social occasions.
Rural life and local transport
If you are used living in big cities you may experience both the advantages and the limitations of the countryside. It is our experience that nearly all residents enjoy the advantages of rural life and can easily cope with the limitations.
Advantages are, for instance, that nature starts at your door step. You can take fantastic nature walks and make herbal tea from the plants of our garden. The nights are incredibly silent with a sky full of stardust and shooting stars.
But if you have no car, there are limitations as well: the nearest super market is 4 km away and buses to the nearby towns (Estremoz and Evora), stop only 3 times a day in front of our gate. An active urban life is at a distance of 13 km (Estremoz) or 35 km (Évora). From there many good connections exist to other towns in Portugal and Spain.
About once every two days we go to Estremoz or Évora for shopping. You can join us for free or give us your shopping list. Also when we go to concerts, exhibitions or other cultural events (at least once per week on average) you can join us for free. You can ask us to drive you to town, but in case we cannot combine it with our own activities we may charge a fee that is around 40% of the taxi fee. Our bicycles are of poor quality and not useful for local transport.
We tell you about options and costs before you decide what transport you prefer.
Of course, in case of emergency we are always and with no limitation ready for transport. Medical facilities are in Estremoz (First Aid, 24 hrs service) and Évora (University hospital).
This part of the country has a continental climate with some oceanic influence. From April until June and in September and October the temperature is very mild (20-30 oC). In July and August the days can be hot (30-37 oC), but the nights generally remain cool (15-20 oC). From December until March the day temperatures are between 15 and 22 oC and the nights between 2 and 15 oC. November and occasionally April can be quite rainy, while December, January and February are often sunny and sometimes even warm.
The house has very thick stone walls (up to 1 m). Therefore it remains cool even on the hottest days of the year. On those days it is effective to keep the door closed in the hottest hours of the day and to open it in the coolest hours of the night. There is no air conditioning.
The room temperature is regarded as pleasant by virtually all our guests. Nevertheless, if you cannot cope with the summer heat, better do not to choose for a residency in August. And if you need an apartment with a temperature that is constantly higher than 20 oC, better choose a period between April and October. From December to March you may need some room heating and you pay the heating costs yourself. Some apartments have gas or wood stoves and others have stone heaters that run on electricity.
We will share with you our experience on how to heat your room cost-effectively.
Your apartment has basic equipment such as cooking plate, microwave, pots and pans and so on, to prepare your own meals. The tap water is of high quality and has a good taste. You do not need to buy bottled water.
Twice a week we organise a shared diner (where everybody brings something to eat and to drink) and if you want you can share this dinner and its coziness.
We generally do not prepare meals for residents.
Internet and phone
The house has an ADSL connection and a router for wireless working. If you have your own laptop, you can work on the internet in the meeting room or direct surroundings where the signal of the router is received. If you need a wired connection we can provide this in the dining room as well. Using the internet is free for normal use with your own laptop or other wireless device.
If you do not have your own laptop, be aware that you generally have to use one of the many internet facilities in Evora, Estremoz or Evoramonte. Most of them are free but only open during office hours. Our PC is, of course, available for urgent use.
For your cell phone check in your country which provider you need in Portugal. Alternatively, consider buying a mobile phone in Portugal or a Portuguese sim card (10 €). For relatively cheap phoning all over the world buy an ONI phone card in Portugal.
We have a landline in our private residence of the house that you can use in an emergency. For other calls we request you to use your own cell phone, Skype or a similar program on your computer. Alternatively, you can use public telephones in town.
Feel free to rearrange the furniture in your apartment, to take paintings off the wall and so on.
In case of emergency, we are always available to help solve your problems. For issues with less urgency: try to collect them until a moment that is convenient for us, preferably 10am-1pm.
After 10 pm, please restrict noisy activities to the working studios or other spaces where early sleepers will not hear you.
Do not smoking inside the buildings. In summer, outside-smokers should use caution to prevent fire.
Residents are expected to clean their apartments themselves. We will provide cleaning tools and materials. At the end of your stay we expect you to leave your apartment as clean as it was when you arrived (or pay us 25€ to clean it).
We generally do not accept pets. Contact us for more information.
You must have an international medical insurance and a third party insurance. The Centre does not accept legal responsibility.
The duration of your residency will generally be between 3 weeks and two months. The rate for renting an apartment is 100 € per week. For a couple this is 185 €. Couples must apply individually. If you can only stay shorter than three weeks: contact us for possibilities (the rates will be higher).
Non-artist guests accompanying residents are welcome but pay a higher rate. Ask the board for rates and availability.
Your rent, after subtracting the deposit, must be paid in the first days of arrival.
To conclude your reservation you pay a deposit: 120 €. Your deposit will be subtracted from your bill at the end of your stay. If your cancellation is longer than 4 months in advance we return your deposit. Instead of a deposit you can also send us (minimum 4 months in advance) a copy of your plane ticket.
If your plans change, let us know in time. For us this makes the difference between endless waiting and simple logistical re-adjustments.
OBRAS accepts direct payment and bank transfers, but no cheques. You will get an official invoice for all payments.
Foundation OBRAS is registered in The Netherlands:
Stichting OBRAS, Nieuweweg 31, 6871 CA Renkum, The Netherlands
The bank of Stichting OBRAS is: ING Bank
The address of the bank is: 6800 WC, Arnhem, The Netherlands (reply number: 1580)
The bank account is: IBAN: NL23INGB0009353219 (for Dutch artists the number is just: 9353219) BIC (= Swift Code): INGBNL2A