Sculpture Park or Trail in the Alportel Valley, Sítio dos Morenos

Background

1. Peter and I have lived in this valley for over 16 years and we see the old ways of life dying out. Young people are leaving the village; older people are dying: there are no new people moving in (there are 5 houses for sale in and just outside of the village).
2. Recently I interviewed a group of sculptors from Holland who were in the Algarve for a masterclass. (Holland´s top most famous sculptor gave the masterclass). I also know a number of sculptors here. Since the forest fire of July 2012 I have been astonished at how the landscape has recovered but also the cork oaks that have died look like sculptures themselves - they are beautiful and use of these trees as natural sculptures would be a good way to start the park/trail.

Aims

1. Encourage artists of all nationalities to contribute to making something unique in the Algarve - a sculpture park in a rural environment, blending the art forms of nature with art made by humans
2. Value the rural patrimony of the hill areas of the Sotavento at a time when rural traditions are dying out
3. Create a memorial to everything that was destroyed in the fire of July 18 and 19 2012
4. Value the contribution of the Hunting Clubs in keeping the community alive

Protocols

1. Gain the agreement and support of the President of the Junta da Freguesia de Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo
2. Gain the agreement and support of the President of the Câmara of Tavira
3. Talk to the people of the village to gain their agreement.
4. Find out the owners of the land in the valley and discuss their views on whether they would allow temporary/permanent structures on their land

Strategy

1. Publicise the idea and appeal to local artists, etc to get in touch with me with their ideas (English language press, Portuguese press, radio, etc).
2. Speak to local artists, sculptors and photographers and ask them to make submissions for exhibitions - possibly to be held in the Hunters Club, the Cafés and also in Tavira and Santa Catarina.
3. Attract international standard painters, sculptors, etc to give masterclasses and to indicate their support for the project.
4. Involve the people of the village - using their ideas e.g. about life in the village in the past - could be oral history recordings or implements, objects which we could make into a village museum.
5. Get children from the Tavira Concelho area to visit the village and write, paint, sculpt what they see and feel and have displays of their work.
6. Organise occasional events e.g. visit from Fado com História to perform in Morenos, also the rancho folclórico and advertise to outsiders. Organise a lunch at the Hunters Club to discuss their work and to discuss the Mediterranean Diet. Have guided nature walks for the flowers and birdlife.

 

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