Do jardim tropical ao carvão vegetal: o desenho na linha das metamorfoses
Du jardin tropical au fusain : le dessin au fil de ses métamorphoses
From the tropical gardens to the charcoal: drawing through its metamorphoses
To Jérôme, Sunyoung, Francisco & co.
Presentation: Thursday 25 July 2019, Hangar, Lisbon.
First, I would like to thank very much all the team of Hangar for their welcome, their availability, their kindness, help, patience… I would like to thank very much our curator Cristiana Tejo with whom I had the pleasure to work again this year! I hope it will continue!
I thank very much the Institut français du Portugal who supported me for this residency! Especially Mrs. Silvia Belea, manager of the cultural service: thank you for your attention and your availability! And especially Mrs. Anne-Marie Koenig-Theves, general manager of the institute, and all the team who received me with a lot of attention.
I thank very much the Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes who is organizing an exhibition next year in 2020. Thank you very much Senhora Ana Maria Pessanha, member of the selection committee, who supported me a lot! Thank you very much Senhor Jaime da Silva, vice-president of the Sociedade, Senhor Rui Penedo, technical director, and all the team of the national society who received me with a lot of attention too.
The work I did this year in Hangar during two months of residency is linked to the work I did last year in Hangar too, during one month: it is part of the continuity of this one. What touched me last year in Lisbon are some trees I encountered first in Brazil, sixteen years ago, when I was studying at the School of Fine arts in the city of Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais. I stayed there for one year during my PhD.
So, I wanted to work on the link between Portugal and Brazil, through these trees. In Brazil, I was already interested a lot by trees that I met in different gardens of the city. I worked from collected pieces of wood I turned in white and I put again in the same place, in order to participate with the tension between light and shadow, darkness and brightness, between what is living and what is still alive… Put on the ground as if they were coming from underground, laid near the roots that are going up and down.
The drawings I did here are in charcoal on canvas: they are one meter and a half in height and eighty centimeters wide. The size is the same as the table I worked on. And it is linked to the size of body. From the trees of different gardens of the city until these drawings of charcoal, I used pictures I took of those trees.
These different stages of the process that include different gestures have brought me to transform trees and to work on the theme of the metamorphoses. Through the drawings, trees became more organic: turning into bodies, animals, hairs, muscles, sorts of cut-away diagrams… They are between light and shadow, in and out: without a fixed identity. They appear to disappear, following the movements of metamorphoses. As I worked on wet canvas, the support absorbed more or less the charcoal and reacted as a skin that hides and reveals at the same time.
Showed in a chronological way, as if they were part of a travel journal, they don’t have beginning and end: they just punctuate time and space, they rhythm the crossing of the landscape as if they were a kind of markers. Beyond this experience (of which these drawings testify), they invite us to travel trough the memory and cross the forest of our childhood full of scare and beauty.