Archives for category: Brazil

I was invited to Usina da Alegria Planetaria (UAP) for a 5 day artist residency. UAP is based in the outskirts of Sao Paulo.  Their artist residency programme is called VISTA SUA EXISTÊNCIA (WEAR YOUR EXISTENCE) and asks 12 visiting and resident artists to explore the body and representation of the body. The emphasis is on experimentation and developing ideas, not finished projects. Photos of each residency will be fly posted around Sao Paulo later in the year. It was a special invitation because I got to spend time with Renato Bolelli Reboucas, a big friend, artist and inspiration. We have worked together on several projects including The Shrine of Everyday Things (Manchester) and Roza (Sao Paulo).

During the residency I could access the resources at the artist community and participate in communal meals and rituals. I was to give one performance workshop and be paired with an artist who lives at UAP, Burikitos Aruanda. I have a piece of his artwork on my bedroom wall, he works extensively with old photos and collages that explore memory, mortality and absence.

I stayed in a simple shelter with a magnificent view. I drew, learnt to crochet, gave a workshop, had time to think and hardly any internet, made crying glasses, gloves for night-walking and soles for my feet made from mud and glitter. I am going to take these things and make some new performances.

Here are some experiments.

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Here is my sketchbook.

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tentando(I am trying to say, 2017)

I left thinking about lines, language, horror films and political acts. It felt like an artist rehab, I was allowed and encouraged to not know what to do, and then do something anyway. No thinking really, just making, instinctively and hopefully with my hands and not my head. Lots to take from it.

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What I came back with, written and drawn around Brazil. Click on the image to open the book…

It’s really struck a chord with people, lots of good feedback:

“Made me cry – beautiful”

“Stunning”

“It’s beautiful…I was gripped”

“full of beauty”

“full of humour, heart ache and truth and beautiful drawing”

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Here it is: Vegetarian (presumably made from vegetables and not from vegetarians) Strudel, Mozzarella Salad, Soya Farofa, Rice and Coleslaw. Eaten at 1am on Christmas Eve / Day in Sorocaba, Brazil. Thank you Ani, it was delicious.

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Perfect afternoon, drawing and drinking in the breeze. I used to be scared of eating out alone, now I absolutely love it. It feels a real treat and somehow slightly mysterious.

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A page from my latest book of words and pictures made in Brazil. The telenovela continues…

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Look at these pomegranates growing in my friend’s garden! In my top ten things about Brazil is the abundance of fruit and seeing it grow and letting juices run down your arms.

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The unforgotten joys of drawing in the sun with chalk…

I seem to only write when I’m in another place. Well I’m back in Brazil after some 400 days away. Anyway, it’s back to business blogging wise for the next month.

The first few days have been epic like the mountains that I’ve been flitting around, with elephant highs and lows (Brazil is the perfect country to have an affair of the heart in by the way) (Also I will warn you right now this a post about love, not about a country).

Being with someone you love again. Ridiculous, rushing reunions that ebb into real life in waves of relief and disappointment. Being apart for long periods of time means that you have big gaps of experience that sometimes need filling in and sometimes don’t. Sometimes what you both imagined was in the gaps isn’t there at all.

So there you both are, constantly re-navigating a sprawling sea of two lives in a puddle of a month, in two languages you both don’t fully grasp, trusting that the other one is still searching for the same thing you are.

Maybe this is true of all relationships. Little leaps of faith in gaps of misunderstanding.

I’m making a book whilst I’m here too, a document of time unravelling.

 

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I dreamt that all my relationships would look and feel like this all the time:

Yet they always look and feel more like this:

On the ninetieth and last day in Brazil, I dropped my camera and broke it forever. It was an accident, not an act of finality. This is the last photograph taken, just before it hit the metro train floor.

Last week I embarked on a task set by Amy Pennington. She wanted me to find one of her favourite bands, CSS, that live in Sao Paulo. The investigation had hub centres in Miles Platting and Sao Paulo.

The original task:

A chat with Amy coordinating the investigation.

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The poster campaign focused on two main areas, Vila Madalena and Pinheiros.

cssnote3The posters (Ana and Luiza)


I chased friends and friends of friends for leads.

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The MTV headquarters where I met Vinicius Lepore, a helpful member of staff who I later became friends with.

And then after nine weeks I found Ana! It was a tip-off from my friend, Petra Costa that meant I managed to locate the guitarist. Petra’s uncle is a friend of Ana’s mum. We had a beer together and Ana was lovely! Look how pleased I am!

There will one day be a book written by Amy and me. We might need chasing on this one. But it will happen and be good.

The former FELIZ ANIVERSARIO banner that became a LOWRI EVANS banner fell down. I then made a much better banner with the letters. It is a nice word to leave behind and to take away. I was also pleased to realise the first two letters of my first name and the first two letters of my last name can spell love.

My last three days feel like this!

It seems a bit cheeky to make a film with me and the new president of Brazil. It was a privilege to be in a country when something very important was happening, but also strange to not be directly affected by it. Like a lot of experiences here, I was both close and far away at the same time. What a night though!

Mango Manga

Cashew Caju

Guabiraba Guabiraba

Blackberries Amoras

I can’t remember if the princess noticed the pea or not, but this princess did. After this happened I have been finding out about Brazilian fairytales, stories such as the man who fed his wife until she couldn’t fit in the house and the woman who ironed everything inlcuding the wrinkles on her husbands face.

We drove up to Mangabeiras, and even though I only have this bad picture, it looked like the stars had fallen from the sky to the feet of the mountains.

I always look forward to Halloween because it is a chance to dress up, more than normal.
2002 bat, 2006 palm tree, 2007 funeral director, 2008 drowned swimmer, 2009 dead Wonder Woman.

This year my costume was slightly compromised by the limited resources in the hotel room. But I like these kind of challenges, I feel more comfortable with nothing than something. I think because there´s less to lose.

I set about making a mouse costume out of leaves I found outside the hotel.

It was easy to do, but I did have the advantage of packing a stapler (trampedor in Portuguese). However don´t worry if you don´t find yourself with one in your suitcase. You could borrow one from reception, or use the sewing kit that comes in the room. I´ve found being foreign you can generally get away with more because it is easier for people to let you do something than to try and explain why you can´t. It´s like when tired parents give in to screaming children. So I wouldn´t think twice about making this on a reception desk if I needed to.

Here are the results. The only flaw is I miscalculated the scale of my costume, so it is more of a costume for my hand, or a guinea pig.

Materials:

Making Of:

Result: