Michelangelo Foundation Summer School Programme welcomes young artisans and designers in Portugal to study basketweaving, 15 July - 2 August 2019
Developed in collaboration with local members of the foundation’s international network, it allows young students and graduates to take part in courses aiming to revitalize traditional techniques.
· The Portuguese Basket Technology courses held at the Museu de Arte Popular in Lisbon feature some of the last remaining master artisans of the field.
· The ten students from 6 countries will also take part in design and theory workshops, fostering creative exchange, innovation and sustainable design through traditional techniques.
· An installation of basketry archives will allow students and the public to investigate the cultural heritage of craftsmanship.
· Pieces created by the young students will be showcased at the exhibition Um Cento de Cestos - One hundred baskets at the Museu de Arte Popular in September 2019 - and may be featured in other upcoming Michelangelo Foundation exhibitions.
July 2019, Geneva –The Michelangelo Foundation launches the first of its inaugural Summer School courses in Lisbon, focusing on five endangered Portuguese techniques of basketmaking. The new educational initiative is developed in partnership with the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva and organised by the Museu de Arte Popular/Museu Nacional de Etnologia, Passa Ao Futuro, and The Home Project Design Studio.
The programme invites students from Portugal, Italy, Poland, Cyprus, Belgium and France to discover and develop traditional Portuguese basketry methods. The Michelangelo network allows them to broaden their horizons, and make cross-disciplinary connections: “This Summer School brings together cross-generational, cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural teams in a creative learning and making environment. Investigating innovative solutions in new pieces that strive to carry this ancient know-how into the future, in a sustainable and exceptional way.", Fatima Az-Zahra Durkee, Co-Founder Passa Ao Futuro
The ancestral Portuguese techniques they will explore are on the verge of becoming extinct. There are no basketmaking machines: one by one, baskets are fashioned by hand - an eloquent narrative woven by humans for humans. Each technique is defined by the flora of a region: bunho, bracejo, junça, palma, and vime. The programme aims to ensure that the circular and regenerative design process of basketry, a highly sustainable contributor to local economies, is shared with future generations before it is lost forever. An urgent mission – with far-reaching impact. Rita Mariana, a selected candidate from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon, explains:
“Ever since I was a child I loved working with my hands. I love how my muscles memorize the moves my fingers make, and I enjoy seeing them get faster and better with every move.” According to a Portuguese proverb, “the basket maker who makes one basket, makes one hundred.” While participants will discover new skills, their own fresh perspective and signature are vital to the domain. By generating exchanges between artisans and both Portuguese and international participants, the Summer School aims to encourage future collaborations and further actions to ensure a new future for basketweaving.
Notes for editors
Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship
The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is an international, non-profit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, which celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence and in the realities and challenges of today’s global economy, the foundation seeks to support men and women who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of master craftsmanship, and to foster a new cultural movement built around the values that are essential for their work. The foundation focuses on Europe as a starting point for its activities, in recognition of the vital part craftsman-ship has played in the economic and cultural fabric of the region for centuries. michelangelofoundation.org
Direção-Geral do Património Cultural (DGPC) / Ministério da Cultura, Portugal
The mission of the DGPC (General Directorate for Cultural Heritage) is to ensure the manage-ment, safeguarding, enhancement, conservation and restoration of the country's tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The DGPC oversees 23 Museums, Palaces and Monuments, distrib-uted among 12 National Museums, 2 National Palaces and 5 Monuments designated as World Heritage by UNESCO, located in several regions of the Country. DGPC is also responsible for developing and executing the national policy for museums. patrimoniocultural.gov.pt/en
Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva (FRESS)
Created in 1953, the Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva (FRESS) protects and promotes Portuguese decorative arts and related crafts. The foundation's Museum of Portuguese Decorative Arts houses an extensive artistic collection from the 15th to 19th centuries, as well as 18 workshops where master craftsmen and women use traditional skills and pass on their expertise to future generations. FRESS also carries out its education mission through its School of Decorative Arts and its Training Centre in Arts and Crafts. Its conservation team restores works of art such as paintings, furniture and interiors of historic buildings, decorative tiles, and both ceilings and murals at historical sites across the country. fress.pt
National Museum of Ethnology / Popular Art Museum
The National Museum of Ethnology (Museu Nacional de Etnologia, MNE) holds the most significant ethnographic heritage collections in Portugal. It encompasses 11.600 objects - including ceramics, jewellery, musical instruments, basketry and textiles - from the Museum of Popular Art’s (Museu de Arte Popular’s) collection. The building of the Museum of Popular Art is one of the few remaining structures originally built for Portuguese World Exhibition in Lisbon in 1940, and was designated as a Monument of Public Interest in 2012. Its architectural value is largely due to its wall paintings created in 1948, dedicated to several themes of popular culture. Since 2012 the Museum of Popular Art and the National Museum of Ethnology constitute two poles of a single museum. https://museuartepopular.wordpress.com/ /
Passa Ao Futuro
Passa Ao Futuro was founded in 2016 by Astrid Suzano and Fatima Durkee. A new cultural initiative, the non-profit association searches out the craftsmen and women in Portugal working with traditional techniques. It strives to support the preservation of tacit knowledge, the passing on of skills, as well as social, environmental and design innovation. The association activates this network through several initiatives including residencies, exhibitions, social innovation and sustainability training. It supports the crafts as a catalyst for a regenerative future. passaaofuturo.com
The Home Project Design Studio
The Home Project Design Studio conducts an integrated design practice that uses cultural heritage research to propose a more authentic, integrated and sustainable material culture, promoting a reflection on conscientious consumption and the recognition of traditional know-how.
It also provides strategic consultancy in the context of artisanal production and regional development for public and private institutions, both national and international, for which they also facilitate design residencies and workshops.
Bracejo: Isabel Martins; Bunho: Manuel Das Neves Ferreira; Junça: Ana Paula Abrunhosa; Pal-ma: Vanessa Florido; Vime: Fernando Pereira
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