Open Your Mind

Well its been a while since we’ve posted, so here goes…

We’ve been busy having a wonderful time in Portugal, visiting 4 cities –   Lisbon, Porto, Averio and Coimbra. It was a very inspiring break – a much needed reenergising experience filled with art culture and fabulous cakes!

As you may know Portugal has a strong tradition in hand-painted ceramics, so we’ve totally enjoyed it. Everywhere you turn there it is… ceramics ceramics ceramics…with gorgeous buildings covered in amazing, decorative tiles, to beautiful, blue and white pots plates and ornaments for the table in every shop.

Over the next few weeks we’ll show you what we saw and hopefully you’ll feel inspired too.

Aswell as the traditional arts, crafts and music of the area, each city had it’s own creative take on street art too.

Coimbra view

First stop was Coimbra – an ancient university city, placed between Porto and Lisbon. Built on a multilayered history, Contains narrow mazes of streets in the Baixa area, the neo classical and the rococo against beautiful Art Deco architecture – all entwined within the remains of a Moorish medina and city walls – This was our base… and what a lovely place to call home for a few weeks.

The signs of first street art that we found were the crocheted adornments from balconies, draping across squares and down secretive little lanes. Using textiles in street art has been a trend in recent years across the world, with yarn bombing, but it was probably surprisingly because it was still fairly hot weather whilst we visited in September – October ( 26-30 degrees) we also saw quite a few wool shops. The bunting was pretty and fitted well with the old buildings.

crochet fountain crochet 2 crochet 1 crochet balcony

Along with the surprising DIY wool art we found plenty of spray can graffiti art on the streets too. The brash marks of spray can and paint created a dynamic mix between the ancient architecture that captures the tourist vision of historic romance, stained with  statements, tags and modern political energy of the students and contemporary scene.

The juxtaposition of these two worlds colliding won’t be to everyone’s taste, but even ancient cities live in modern times, housing today’s people, wanting to have their presence know.

Coimbra  – An interesting place. Open your mind.

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