Art Attack

Exploring the vast array of art in Ferragudo

Just a few years ago, you’d be hard pushed to find much in the way of an art scene in Ferragudo. Now we’re spoilt for choice with a variety of venues to choose from.

The first and by far the largest is Galerio, in the Arade Congress Centre, overlooking Portimão’s old bridge.

The building is semi-industrial in appearance and has a slightly unfinished feel that lends itself very well as the backdrop for a contemporary art venue. You may remember Rolf Osang from the old ArtAlgarve venue, in Lagoa’s wine cooperative. Rolf moved about a year ago to look for new premises. He has since secured an arrangement with the local council to create a large art instalment in the mostly-unused congress centre, where he promotes local artists. The current exhibition includes pieces from popular artists, such as painter Kerstin Wagner, from Germany, Portuguese/French photographer Alexandre Manuel, English painter Cliff Martin Tuson, in addition to works by often-provocative sculptor Willem Sneijers. Alongside the ongoing group exhibitions, Rolf will hold concerts and art fairs. The first major international art fair, featuring the work of some 40 artists, is being held October 14-16. It’s been Rolf’s aim for a number of years to create a hub for cultural projects and artists and he could have found the right spot in the congress centre.

Centro de Congressos do Arade, Parchal. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10.30 am – 9.00 pm, by appointment, call 968 067 607

Heading back into Ferragudo, along the coastal road, we pass by Studio Bongard. The studio and gallery has been open since 1998 and has an interesting collection of clay sculptures and drawings on display and for sale. Created by husband-and-wife team Sylvain and Tara, the pieces are dotted around the many rooms, courtyards and ponds that make up the studio. “We truly believe this is more than any gallery or shop in the world; it is an immersive experience, to open your imagination and inspire, to pass and enjoy your time calmingly,” Tara explains.

Sylvain’s style is pretty distinctive, featuring many aquatic scenes and elements, while Tara seems to be focusing on flora and fauna, wildlife and human sculpture at the moment. You’ll find many of their pieces around the Algarve, including a fabulous installation in Carvoeiro’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Bon Bon.

Rua Infante D Henrique,62 Ferragudo. Tel.968362930

Open Mon-Fri 10.00 am until 5.30 pm   Sat 10.00 am until 2:00 pm

As you arrive in the main square of Ferragudo, you’ll see a tiny jewellery shop in the left hand corner, called Lipscani.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Lipscani is just a little tourist shop; owner Gina Pires is a very talented jeweller, with art in her genes.

Together with husband Martin, they have opened a quaint little gallery next door, simply called ‘Galeria’.

The gallery is tiny but every corner is brought to life with drawings and paintings.

Wisely, Gina is trying to limit the number of artists on display. The collection works well, with some items starting at around €20 and others going for €4000. There is something here for every taste and budget.

Current artists include the very talented Lígia Maria Pires Fernandes, from Setubal, who has been exhibiting throughout the Algarve and is currently working in Montenegro.

Local English artist, R Bishop, who is famous for his seascapes and life-like paintings of waves, is joined by the fabulous works of famous Portuguese artist, Pedro Buisel.

Pedro’s paintings, all inspired by the Alentejo, are vibrantly colourful and instantly recognisable.

The Galeria is open seven days a week. Evenings in the summer and during the day for the rest of the year. Tel. 911501397

Rua 25 de Abril, Ferragudo.

Continuing down the small street, you’ll come across Déjà Vu – Art Shop. Along with a choice of large works by local artists Meinke Flesseman and Eric de Bruijn, you’ll find a wonderful array of vintage beauties in this eclectic space, ranging from a star scooter with a sidecar or handbags made out of inner tubes to photos of Portuguese doors and even an old barbershop chair. Owner and artist Jerome has packed this wonderful space full of local treasures, making it an absolute must for retro fans.

Open 10.00 am until 7.00 pm until end of October, Rua 25 de Abril, Ferragudo.

Tel. 965049722

Running behind the Rua 25 de Abril, the Rua Primeiro de Maio takes you up to the church. Here, near the top of Ferragudo, you’ll find A Casa do Real Compromisso Marítimo de Ferragudo Art Gallery. Run by the local council, its aim is to host exhibitions throughout the year, enriching the cultural diversity of the village. As we went to press, the next confirmed exhibition is by a group of returning artists and friends. The exhibition will feature: ‘The Elements’, a collection of abstract pieces by Di Della Pace; as well as pieces by French contemporary painter Pascale Cfey and fellow Frenchwoman, Sylviana Loubatieres. Sylviana uses a range of media, one of the most interesting being mirrors, applying paint and gold or copper leaf. Other media include oil on canvas, ceramic tiles and period dress costumes.

This exhibition runs from October 12 to November 10, daily from 10.00 am until 6.00 pm. Call the council office for more information on 282 461 369

Text Mia Wallace

Photos Mia Wallace

Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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