The artist Teresa Gonçalves Lobo in partnership with the foundation Ricardo Espírito Santo, through the decorative arts museum, created two chairs for it's estate the "ichair" and the "ichair long", a long creative process which culminated in an exhibition , a catalog and also an album with printed "is".
How did arise this invitation for "i personally"?
Teresa Gonçalves Lobo: The invitation came from the museum of Portuguese decorative arts, Ricardo Espírito Santo Foundation in 2012 to an exhibition at the same venue the following year. The starting point was the museum itself could inspire me in some of the pieces appearing on the estate, the ones I wanted, or the foundation. I've been reviewing the collection very carefully, of course there were huge pieces that fascinated me, but what enchanted me was how the masters work in the foundation. It was as if regressed more than 100 years in time, when I got there, it was another time, people have time to do things, put all their commitment and dedication, we note that everything that is done carefully, there is love in great art. It's a different time and it fascinated me, how people worked the pieces, their love for what they do and I was thinking that I wanted to value them. More than a museum, the foundation has been preserveing the decorative arts, for this purpose it was necessary to train teachers in the Portuguese arts, I thought this was exceptional and we should not let our heritage disappear and its founder had this care. Then there are all the masters who passed by, is an institution that turned 60, all I wanted was to honor all who are there and those who went through that house to maintain it.
How appears the "i personally"?
TGL: The "i" already existed, had the "is" that only needed an opportunity to appear, I had shown one in 2007 and in 2009 expose two of them, always inserted in a collective, but I already had a group very significant of “is”, even some who I never shown up before, I thought it needed to come all together, a picture alone is lost and thought it made sense to show them all. I ended up exposing 42 drawings some of 2008 and other's of 2013 some drawn with Chinese ink, others in black and red are colors that appear a lot in my work, still others on coal and then I was in the mood to make a chair from an "i". The passion for chairs was something I had in me and had never thought much about it, then I noticed that I have been photographing chairs over the years of different countries where I'm going through, in my view this type of piece shows immense what a culture is, the way people feel, sit and its traditions. In 2005 I was in China and found fantastic that people in this country sit in a circle to talk, a table is not necessary, or a coffee, the chairs are so that people seat on and they may feel like talking or not. These are small details that I have come to notice and photograph over time. The fact that it was guide in Madeira made me look at these pieces, including the collection of the Museum of Quinta das Cruzes is a passion I have.
So you design the chair and there is some symbiosis with the masters of the foundation?
TGL: Of course, the museum of decorative arts by inviting me also wants that connection, it was not something that was suggested explicitly, but could not be seen as an exhibition hall, it would have to be looked at as a place where we will share both sides, is a joint work, the knowledge of the hands of the masters and my drawings. From this union comes a joint project, although this was never told, was a natural process and thought it was nice to join these two passions I had, the "is" and chairs. It is true that I had never drawn a piece of this genre, knew nothing of chairs and I think I still do not know, but I was careful to measure my body, that of a woman and my husband, a man, then I thought it had to be comfortable for both sexes, with different heights, then my nephew, Miguel Gonçalves, materialized in 3D. I thought it was important to get the foundation not showing only two lines but a final design for two reasons, first because it meant that those responsible would say yes, the second reason has to do with my need to feel good, I mean, I showed only a trace, the masters materialized the drawing and I signed the chair, it was not my work, so had to get to the foundation with all possible material, with all that was required from me in terms even of measures and there have asked the opinion of the masters to know whether it was practible, logical or not and had to have that feedback. This was the project of "iChair", was my first chair, also the first in my head, then I design an "i" and not thinking of anything and I saw another piece, which is the chair long, with one foot in floor and the other flowing and at the same time may be two "is" that merge into one and it pleased me this idea, so the parts are not glued together, fit into one another, fuse together, one of sides can sit down, the other can lie down. It was a piece dreamed up by me and by the masters of the foundation, where I was put to the possibility also to choose the wood intended for these pieces and I was incredulous when I heard me immediate responding was mahogany and tittle is my connection to the island Madeira and its pieces of furniture. Of course, are two protected trees, but there was mahogany in the foundation, from Brazil that was stored there for 15 years and I said so at the time, that seemed almost a lie, but that wood looked like it had been waiting for me, so the chairs are from that wood and the point of the "i" is in rosewood. Curiously, the rosewood of the "is" both in the "ichair" as in the "ichair long" there are white spots that rarely appear and the masters told me that is the soul of wood.
How comes the collection became a book? The exhibition, all of this for a compilation?
TGL: I think at the end after the exhibition is the catalog and it's always a little dimmer when we see the photos of the paintings, but it is what is, for those who saw it and for does who may not appreciate is a way to see the work and all this process, but I thought this case was important not only show all "is" I drew, but having the picture of the masters who worked with me. At the time when I discussed this idea in the foundation the responsibles they alerted me to the fact that I would reproduce the image of some and not others, but I've been a year monitoring the entire process and photographed them all, only the"ichair long" were about 5 months and the people who worked it are in the pictures and also who did trimmings I had the care of shooting them, as a rule always appear the hands of masters, but I thought the men must also be and was exciting to see happiness of these people by been reproduce because they have an image in the catalog.
Tell me about the album.
TGL: The pieces, "iCadeiras" were exposed in the museum, I was privileged to see exposed to "iChair long” away with other adequate important pieces of the museum and thought that this "i" as if it were inhabitant of the house, as if its leaseholders guarantee that space. I would also reward the memories and fliping through a photo album, I had a click, also decided to make a picture album with another section of the decorative arts museum, with people linked to the binding, the trimmings, is an album of 10 prints I created in my studio, but I binded in the foundation. It is the "i” family album.