A stone sculpture – Rita Vargas’ artistic residency.
LEARNING CURVE explores the rapprochement between continuities and discontinuities of a transitory state regarding another, of a fleeting existence in a temporary space. The return – and continuity – to marble stone sculpting is a return to the childhood memories of Rita Vargas, to a multicultural genesis, to which the Portuguese identity once again tied its boat.
When I got Pedro Fazenda’s proposal to undertake an artistic residency at Pó de Vir a Ser – Stone Sculpture Department, in Évora, I immediately started making clippings and collages with my prints (which, in their turn, represent details of the Portuguese Vicentine Coast, and result from a body of work developed over the course of 5 to 6 years). I rarely resort to collages, but… it happened. My intention would be, with these studies, to reflect – by discussing the meaning of sculpture, art, and art installation resorting to various materials – on the urgency of awareness regarding climate change and its effects on the everyday life not only of citizens, but also of Nature. On the other hand, that return to marble stone also meant a return to my Portuguese origins, to a safe harbor. It meant, without me even noticing, a re-visitation of the city of Évora, after about 10 years living and working in Finland, having also spent some time in Japan, Germany, and the Azores Islands. This return to a familiar territory, after years of absence in faraway lands, enabled the ability to look at things and to feel the city, the people, the smells, the light, and the stone in a different way, as if it were more intense and accurate in the choices that had to be made for the creation of the project. (…) one stone among many caught my eye. Its very shape suggested, naturally, as in a siren song, a twisted female body. And I said to Pedro – “can you save this one for the next time?” – and, immediately, – “let’s take it up there. This is the one!” And the decision, in addition to the initial proposal, started being carved there, with an emotional intensity.