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Golden Dreams, by Sofia Castro, around the presence of the hollow in sculpture

Until September is gone, you still have the chance to catch the individual exhibition by Sofia Castro in the Project Room of Galeria Municipal in Leiria.

The show, carefully planned, with accuracy and quality, revisits the materialization installation that derives from an exercise carried out during the investigation that she did for her Masters in Sculpture on the presence of the hollow in sculpture. She did it through exteriorization, based on a set of Macanese sculptures, fortune-teller goddesses, porcelain polychromatic figures, of which the hollow protrude with wire and paper structures.

This exhibition also involves the creation of a new work in an unprecedented assemblage, with absolute freedom, and that’s what seduced and convinced her to accept this challenge. The invitation happened after the person in charge caught her exhibitive essays at FBAUL’s Chapel, after which the idea of ​​appropriation through occupation was explored and finally the occultation. This is how Golden Dreams was born, specifically designed for this space, sharing the title with the exhibition.

Sofia Castro grabs again the idea of doing something using a scarce set of materials, achieving an extreme depuration as a whole. It’s an installation in cotton cane and yarn, with an overhanging structure, expanding itself across the room, evoking the lightness of ideas and inspired by the traditional Chinese kite. It occupies such an extensive area of the exhibition space that a photo cannot fully capture it. “I was fond of the idea to expand this structure to the construction of a shelter”, a plastic element of her grammatical lexicon, found in other pieces.

The study of the hollow in sculpture, different from the idea of ​​emptiness, continues to fascinate her. Hollow sculptures have an ancient history, served as hidden spots to hide objects with gold and gems. “A friend of mine, when he caught working the sandstone, commented that I was hollowing too many pieces. My intention was to return that material to the outer world and take care of the interior. Making the piece quite unstable and see how far I could go while toying with that limit”, she declares.

“My installations are geared towards the setting, some merge together and others are confused” (S. Castro)

In her artistic career we should emphasize a 2006 project, a collective of a small number of contemporary artists, entitled laboratório, which quickly spread to several equally meaningful subject matters. As João Mourão points out: “Creating in groups is not easy. It requires time and space while combining different schedules and efforts. It happens during breaks, moments between trips; they created their own times. Space kept happening, it adopted them and they adopted it”. Horto do Campo Grande was this project’s domus and shelter.

The group description shows their willingness to produce together, using experience in a sharing-filled game, packed with enthusiasm and joy, where human relations are quite self-explanatory, in a sort of sensitive ambience provided by an external scenography as an exhibitive stage, where the staging of landscapes is one of the predominant factors that prevails with sitespecific interventions, where the strength of nature flows and runs through, with an experimental trait, diminishing the definitive to give way to the most inventive side. Each of us and the collective make and undo landscapes. The artists play this game and the art speaks to us about the landscape that speaks of us.

Nature becomes the object of immediate perception and aesthetic enjoyment, places reinvented by the work and work re-enacted by the places. There is as a transfer from the place to the work and from the piece to the place, giving new meanings to both sides. The facienti modus conquers an important place beyond the piece itself as the final result. Above anything else, there is a great impetus to trace this path of discovering and encounters, yet the original work remains solitary. “The issues that prompt us are not always solved and shelved in the end. The piece itself is a moment of realization of will and desire, about one of the possibilities in a given context.”

Sofia Castro was born in Lisbon, in 1968. She has a degree in Fine Arts – Sculpture by FBAUL and studied at Ar.Co. She had training in curatorship and exhibition production, art history, design and video. She attended the Master’s Degree in Sculpture at FBAUL. Her next exhibition will happen at Fábrica da Viarco (S. João da Madeira), where she will present works during the collective’s residence, which has been fruitful to the where something bigger is being envisioned for 2019.

Manuela Synek has collaborated with Umbigo magazine for over ten years. As the years go by, it identifies itself more and more with this consistent, ever-changing, innovative, bold and consistent design in its editorial line. She is a Historian and Art Critic graduated by the Superior Institute of Artistic Careers of Paris in Critique of Art and Aesthetics. She is also graduated in Aesthetics from the University of Paris I - Panthéon – Sorbonne and has the "Postgraduate Course in History of Art, Contemporary Art Strand", by Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Manuela is the author of books on authors in the area of Plastic Arts and has participated in Colloquiums as Lecturer related to Artistic Heritage; Painting; Sculpture and Design in Universities; Higher Schools and Autarchies. Lately she specialized in the subject of Public Art and Urban Space, with the analysis of the artistic works where she has made Communications. She writes for Umbigo magazine about the work of artists in the area of the visual arts who appear in the field of exhibitions and also the dissemination of emerging Portuguese values with new supports since installation, photography and video, where the body appears in its various aspects, raising pertinent issues.

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