Se o monte mudar a pele / If the mountain changes its skin


Project developed during a residency in Quinta das Relvas, in the frame of the programme "SEEDS- Means for a sustainable art practice". Exhibited in Viarco , São João da Madeira (PT).

"Outras especies nas margens protegem dos fogos” / “Other species in the margins protect from fires”.

When arriving at Branca in Aveiro, as in many other areas of Portugal and north Spain an endless view of eucalyptus forests introduces itself as the local nature. Local in the sense that it has been there for so many years that few live memories exist of another kind of landscape and villages already integrate the symbol of eucalyptus in their shields.
On the banks of the river Caima in the region of Aveiro, there was “The Caima Timber Estate and Wood Pulp Company Limited” funded in 1888, owned by English families. It was the first factory that produced chemical cellulose in Portugal, it closed 30 years ago but the industry around the paper and wood production from eucalyptus continued since then to develop in the area, transforming the landscape and becoming one of the main economic activities.
By having conversations with neighbors and ex-workers of the factory I was trying to understand what kind of different relationships people have with the eucalyptus monoculture in the landscape, which tensions it creates, if memories of other landscapes are still alive, and how people identify it or nor as part of their local identity.

All the works are made with eucalyptus collected in the area of Branca, both used for handmade paper and for natural dye.

" Rebentos ja despontam na area queimada/ Shoots are already emerging in the burned area"
"A memoria the outra paisagem ja desapareceu/ The memory of another landscape has already disappeared"
"Aqui nao cabe uma floresta/ Here it doesn't fit a forest."
"Bandeira / Flag"
"Aqui nao cabe uma floresta/ Here it doesn't fit a forest."
"Casa / Home"

Contribution to the collective expo “Secar a roupa a chuva” in the factory of Viarco in Sao Joao da Madeira curated by Noemi Ferreira. The works and explorations were developed during a one-month residency in Quinta das Relvas in the frame of the project «Seeds- Means for a sustainable art practice». 

With partners : Oficinas do Convento, Rural Contemporanea, and Chorus Greece.

Most of the pictures from Rafael Raposo Pires.