Architecture is the reaching out for the truth. Louis Kahn
Image sources can be found on my Pinterest Account. — or comment with question about the architect of each image.
Yesterday I was at the Guggenheim Bilbao experiencing Richard Serra’s Exhibition The matter of Time. The forms are strong and imposing, allowing us to feel and experience space in a new way. What was unexpected, to me, is the way the forms are delicate and subtil, despite their rough appearance.
Serra discovered what is now known as his sculptural language, when, one day, he got annoyed with his own creations ( which at the time consisted mainly of abstract paintings) and threw them all away, burning them to ashes by a river. It was his way of setting himself free (free from pre-conceptions, judgments, expectations and many other conditions). From then on he began to ‘play’ with forms in space.
” I think if you want to make art, at some point you have to suspend judgment, and you have to involve yourself with play and not worry about the outcome.” Richard Serra
When I interviewed Pedro Cabrita Reis, almost two years ago, it was a four hour long conversation about the depths of art and his creative process.. ” everything is inspiration… ” I remember him emphasizing as he puffed his Cuban cigar across the very long and wide oak table where we were sitting, in his studio’s office and library. “We just forget to really see…. ” he adds, after a long contemplative pause. The scope of his work is unquestionable, but it’s his ideas and outlook on life that really fascinated me. I couldn’t agree more: Inspiration is always connected to the ways in which we actually see the world and ourselves in it, without them there would be no art, (and no living at all for that matter). So…. Let’s never forget to really SEE.
The Artwork above, is one of his new works, featured at the ArcoFair Lisbon 2017.
Mosteiro de Alcobaca is a world Heritage Unesco site, and it is a an architectural wonder filled with a mystical feeling that is exuded from every carved detail on stone. It holds the tombs of D.Pedro and D. Ines de Castro, ( the greatest love story ever) which I explained here. Whenever I am around the area I always go back to feel this unique wonder. Here are some pictures.
Moroccan architecture is known for their vivid and colourful design. But what do they mean? After some research I found that: The Blue represents Sky, Heaven, Water and Protection; The White represents cleanness, good luck, beauty and femininity. Red is female, sexuality, fertility, childbirth and also relates to a happy marriage. Green relates with the Muslim interpretation of heaven (a green oasis), and lastly Yellow relates to gold, wealth, sun and protection. The colour symbolism of each is not very different from our own colour symbolisms. However, when we observe these colourful and beautiful tiles, combining these colours in unique ways, it is important to remember what they mean and the complex message that they really convey.
The Berbers are a 9000 year old ethnic group indigenous to North of Africa, whose customs and traditions still continue today. The name Berber derives from Greek bárbaros, βάρβαρος, however they call themselves Amazigh which means ‘The Free People’ or or ‘noble men’. Their language and their culture have outlived many other ancient civilisations such as the Ancient Greek, the Latin, Phoenician and even the Egyptian. The Maghreb region in northwestern Africa is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers from at least 10,000 BC. They live in tribal communities, and their roots reach deep into Morroco’s history as well as the neighbouring countries. They are known for their very strong connection with the land, for having a very united sense of community, and for having a very specific (and beautiful) relationship with spirituality.
Today, most Berber people live mainly in Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. However, apart from these broad and simple facts, there is not much that is really known about who they are and what they believe in. They converted to Islamism during the Arab conquests, however they still remain true to their own culture and their own beliefs, living in the mountains, in small communities and remaining completely independent from the modern world. They are isolated, and as their name claims, free: they need little and create themselves everything that they need. Through their art and their creations it is clear that they are true craftsmen, developing and nurturing their silver techniques and the making of intricate carpets in beautiful ways. Even their clothing becomes a means of expression of their own spirit: wild, free and beautiful.
They certainly seem to have a lot to teach us: living in perfect sync and balance with nature, being kind and good to the world, creating everything we need, being independent from everything and everyone, and lastly, making art to en-soul our own bodies. I was sort of sad that I didn’t have time to go see them in the Atlas mountains, where some of them now live. In another trip, it will definitely be a priority.