My intention with this and all my murals is to create an artwork that has meaning to the community who will live with the mural.In lead up to the festival during a skype meeting The curators of the Walk&Talk festival suggested the fishing community of Lagoa as the place for my mural and that one of the curators Monte Sarrado has been working on a documentary about the fisherman for quite some time already and could help me with the introductions. She told me how the fisherman worked in teams split between men out at sea and men on land and she shared how they were full with interesting tattoos.My mind immediately was filled with ideas of how I could narrate a story of fisherman and their relationship to the ocean . My imagination wondered about the stories of myth and legend that had been passed down to them from generations of fisherman. I had assumed they would tell me romantic stories about life at sea. After arriving on the island and spending a day with the fisherman and learning about life in Lagoa I found out that in fact there was very little romanticism like I had imagined.Far from it, I was so wrong, fishing was a harsh life, it was simply a way to earn for their families nothing more to it and asking if they had any meaning or relationship with the ocean left the fisherman with no answer’s for me as this is something they had never really thought of.Their tattoo filled arms had no meaning, and when asked about the beauty of the nature they encounter on their long fishing expeditions they replied that they did enjoy seeing the dolphins and the whales but there was nothing deeper to it then that.
I was now stuck and didn’t really know what to paint and shared my concerns with Monte during lunch. She told me not to worry and that we should go to visit the wall.The wall (I believe by fait) was on a street named “Rua da solidaridade” / “The road of solidarity ” The concept for the mural was now very clear.The mural depicts two young brothers Rodrigo and Johny and their friend Claudio walking into the ocean, into the life of a fisherman.The abstract golden line joins them and represents the community of Lagoa and symbolizes solidarity.
For the entire time everyone was out in the street enjoying the making of the mural and the fisherman would stop by to visit encouraging me on. They were so proud and this motivated me to push on through the long days and heat.
I was really looked after by the community and felt so warmly welcomed and humbled. Every day the boys Mother Graca prepared me lunch and even everyday at teatime Graca called me in for a cake she baked just for me.
This mural is a tribute to the beauty and solidarity of this community.
Special thanks to Walk&Talk Jesse James , Diana Sousa and Monte Serrado. Photos courtesy or Rui Soares and José Lucas