Welcome to Fado Diorama; a gathering of artwork on view now through May 14th, and an invitation to participate in person with some special offerings within the gallery, April 30th - May 7th all in efforts to evoke the soul of Portuguese seaside life
As with other themed showings, my aim now as gallerist/seller is to create an environment in which a viewer is transported to an unknown, forgotten, or longed-for place. When I first visited Portugal more than 30 years ago as a lone traveler, the land and people struck me as being decidedly different from the rest of the European countries I had visited. The land was dry, a bit harsh, the absolute glare of sunlight on the white walls of the South was blinding, and much like my impression of Sardinia, the coast left me with an unsettling feeling of being at the edge of the world and discovery- a memorable feeling that one must go forward with a certain powerful impetus of responsibility, vulnerability, and if one dares, sweet humility.
The older flocks of European and American travelers were loud and making efforts to be known, but Lisbon was pure and the most beautiful and enticing city I had ever seen. I don’t have a photo of the view when I understood the meaning of the seven hills, when you could see everything in that universe at once, all the moving parts. I think I walked them though. Winding through the Alfama at night or the gardens by day, every brush with death and danger at the hands of wolves, every impending moment, sense, and smell was a compass indicating home or safe harbor, knowing that somehow, also, the seas would and could consume you.
The girl in my hostel with whom I spent time wandering would wake up every night shrieking, and I couldn’t shake her. I saved bits of rubble and broken tile, the addresses of old Portuguese men, the scent of malted coffee, and words spoken on trains released like crumpled paper dropped to the floor, and was very sad to say goodbye.
Artists this time around are represented below in images and text, all of whom know their own version of Portugal.
Please join us at the gallery soon...
and enjoy photos from my recent trips to Portugal at the end of this page !!
Hayg Boyadjian, Grammy Nominee composer, was born in 1938 in Paris, France. At an early age he immigrated with his family to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he started his musical studies at the Liszt Conservatory. In 1958 he immigrated to the USA, and presently lives in Lexington, Massachusetts. On the cusp of an historic performance of his symphony in Germany, where Hayg will be in attendance, we are fortunate to be showing six of Mr. Boyadjian’s watercolors (four shown here), very reminiscent in repetitive form and color of the tiles and mandala-esque design work that goes back centuries from ancient trade routes and earlier dynasties in the eastern coast of Europe.
Framed watercolors clockwise from top left ; Celestial Boats 27 x 22.5 , Spring No. 1 21.5 x 17.75, Fiesta 17 x 15.5, The Four Winds 21 x 18
Four Friends, Lisbon
Phil Sheehan started taking pictures about seventy years ago, when black and white was the default format. His first fancy camera was a Leica, bought while stationed in Germany in the Fifties. Even now, a forgotten old box of prints or roll of film from those days shows up.
He spent many years in the last century working in television, taking and editing news film, and later producing news programs.
The arts have always been at the center of his interests, teaching literature, hosting a listener-request program on radio, and performing in local theater productions.
He appreciates and admires lovely pictures people send him from their telephones, but he's most comfortable with the old Canon 7 which he bought twenty years ago.
John Anthony Rizzo started his career in Boston, Massachusetts where he studied and taught photography. His early work as a Documentary Photographer earned him a Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities Photography Fellowship (now the Mass Cultural Council ) for documentation of professional wrestling and a National Endowment for the Arts Project Grant documenting the Fort Point Channel and the Leather District of Boston.
Presently John enjoys the contrast of living in both the Piedmont region of Italy and Boston, MA. Although John continues to work with his advertising and editorial clients his focus is on personnel projects and projects directed at social issues that speak to his passion and his politics.
Saudades de Lisboa
Lagoa de Albufeira
Mary Sheehan Cellier worked for years within the World Bank in research and development projects across the globe, notably in Brasil, as well as in eastern Europe during the years of genocide in 1990s Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Mary returned to a love of painting while living and restoring a house in sunny Southern France. A world traveler, she now divides her time between the states and her home in coastal Portugal, where her natural and historic surroundings continue to be a source of inspiration to paint!
After a lengthy career in the construction industry as a project manager and owner of an excavation contracting company, at 68, Mary Jennings returned to her lifelong love of painting, focusing on contours, light and shade. She also tends a prolific backyard pear tree which supplies many patient subjects for her work.
Mary has painted extensively from the Florida Keys to New England coastal locales where the sea meets the sky with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
Mary lives in Cambridge with her wife and two West Highland Terriers, Oliver and Gordie.
Clockwise from top; Towel #8, Light Days, Peak’s Island Back Shore, Off North Haven Island, Maine, Long Rocks, Peak’s Back Shore
Anne Bernard Kearney was born in France from a French father and an Irish mother. She studied architecture in Les Beaux-Arts, Paris. She lived in Dublin, Ireland, from 1980 to 1999, then moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she has lived since.
She teaches French and Core English part-time in Boston College, Department of Romances Languages and Literatures, and is also a professional artist.
Anne’s poignant etching/aquatints and line etchings of natural settings and figures at peace within them are very at home in this showing.
Clockwise from top left; Varanasi at Dusk, At Sea,
Pêche de Nuit
Three additional etchings of Anne's are currently up at the gallery. These can be seen on instagram in the coming week...or in person at the gallery :-)
photos from Portugal and gallery photos from our month of appreciating coastal Portugal
Please enjoy some photos I've taken in Portugal in the recent past. This showing has given me a wonderful opportunity to remember, savor, and share these moments and views.
The artists who participated in this showing each offered representations of and connections to a world transformed over time through travels, trials and traditions by sea; a desire to leave one's marks and to forge identity left in tact within each azulejo..and the birth of a very particular song form to express longing...
In efforts to create a robust, fully dimensional diorama at the gallery, we enjoyed some informal live guitar playing and singing, invigorating collage workshops with Daria Tommasi, and a sweet and intimate closing reception. Many thanks to all who participated in every way !
guitarist friend Julian and Julie
a mural in progress
guitarist friend and man who can really whistle, Rafael
artists, friends, family at closing reception
collage workshops were fabulous fun :-)
From the original description for Fado Diorama submissions -
Those of you who know Fado music and /or who have been to Portugal will understand this call. I am seeking to create a slice of Portuguese seaside life, although in essence it could truly be another place. It might be Burano, Italy, a tiny island within Venice where the houses are all painted a different color so the fishermen of yore coming home from sea would know which home was their family’s home. It could be an island off the coast of West Africa.
Traditionally the laments of the poor, Fado music can be traced to many cultures but its origin is not wholly known. Perhaps it originates in lands from the time of mythic Odysseus. These ports as havens are symbolically the same. The culture of Fado has been kept alive in traditional musical format in which singers, fadistas, often but not always lament a loss as if still waiting for loved ones to return.
Send in your ideas.
I’ll be creating some murals on the gallery walls and will be expecting several seascapes, maybe even a shipwreck. I’d love to include some images of people and street life, symbolic and literal tastes of Lisbon or Porto and very much hoping to meet some fadistas and guitarists.
fate + unknown + mourning + longing + simplicity of existence + struggle for existence + Portuguese guitar + sea + storms + sirens + ports + Porto + tilework and murals + sun wrinkled eyes + cheese + bananas + the aroma of malt and ground coffee wafting from the streets into a third floor apartment window in Lisboa + …