Why go back to Lisbon for the 2nd time? As I mentioned in a previous post, we had the option between London and Lisbon. We have visited London numerous times and Lisbon only once. Both have multiple galleries, shops, cafes, museums worth visiting just one city having warmer weather. Lisbon won hands down. One of the many reasons why I love Lisbon and generally Portugal as a whole is that it is immensely artistic.
Where can you find art in Lisbon?
From wandering the streets, we have seen fantastic street art to the detailed fine art of the azulejos in churches: and I believe that the Portuguese excel in creating handicrafts, with many being passed down from an old age tradition. Designing and making things appear to be an innate trait of the Portuguese. During our travels, we have come across many beautiful crafts that are locally-made. Designs that combine natural materials, traditional craftsmanship with a contemporary touch or with humour [a picture of a sardine with the words “Just keep on swimming”, comes to mind].
My view of art is more leaning towards the quirky the different sorts of art forms where the Squire requires a more structured shape and function to the purpose of art, which makes our search for eye candy a rather interesting exploration. Let’s face it if the structured form comes with an engine he is a happy man. Though one place we both love to visit, and we often do when exploring various cities, is bookstores, and these are far more interesting if they are quirky or hold on their shelves books on computer programming, art, travel, autobiographies and photography.
Let’s shorten the art direction for this post to one particular art form that I indulge in on a daily basis. That, of course, is photography. With my trusty phone camera. Out of complete easiness and a lack of suitcase room, I have chosen not to carry any camera equipment, just the unflappable up to date phone camera. Which at the moment does serve me well to produce photographs that can be used on my blog alongside a few words to describe our travels.
One local Lisbon photographer’s work that did ignite much interest between myself and the Squire was a photographer by the name of Camilla Watson.
We saw her work, “A Tribute”, on the walls of buildings in the old part of Lisbon, called Beco das Farinhas, Mouraria. As we made our way through the narrow street, we got a real sense of belonging between the portraits and the walls on which they stood proudly, with both belonging to each other. She has beautifully captured with her photography the residents’ individual spirits and that of this old part of Lisbon. Then printed their portraits on the walls as her way of honouring the people who walk these streets and who live in the buildings in which they call home.
In Camilla’s own words in an interview with the Evening Standard “I have always worked in collaborative projects with communities,” says Watson. “And it had always frustrated me that when I had exhibits, they were in a ‘gallery’ and so far away in spirit from the communities and people who were the subjects. I wanted the community – the elderly to be part of the project and to exhibit in a place that was part of their everyday lives. So that they could enjoy it too.”
It is also an excellent way for visitors to share a glimpse of a culture in a personal way. All that needs to be done is for people to stop and absorb what Camilla has captured. What made the experience more satisfying was the little café we stopped to enjoy an expresso. It was like we were meeting the friends of the people we had viewed.