Friday, 29 July 2016

... and I am feeling good ...

... A new life  awaits these recently accredited ATCO's and regardless of the non- associated connotations to Nina Simone's song ... I feel like singing I'm feeling good ...

These young men and lady (in the above picture with two other ATCOs) have made it through the long Air Traffic Control course and will soon be placed in the Azores and Madeira islands. As one of the many teachers who have contributed towards the positive outcome ... I feel proud and more so because with one exception they have been awarded the highest level in the official European Aviation English testing ...
I am sure they are feeling as good as I am ...
May they continue to feel so, as well as committed, in the carrying out of their careers ...

Thursday, 28 July 2016

An unexpected surprise ...

What an unexpected surprise I had as I was looking for material for my classes and came across a DVD I had bought last year on the animated short films presented during the Monstra festival but hadn't yet had the chance to watch.
Among those several short films my attention was drawn to three for completely different reasons - Father and Daughter by Michael Dudok de Wit, having been a 2000 Academy awarded film is a rather sad yet particularly meaningful film that highlights the existing bond between a daughter and the estranged father, whose "image" she pursues an entire lifetime.

The animated adaption of one of Bukowski's poems The man with the beautiful eyes by Jonathan Hodgson is thought-provoking and therefore quite powerful.

The tramvaj  by Michaela Pavlátová despite being a rather sex oriented burlesque-type of film that may shock viewers did bring about several considerations as to certain routine types of work one has to daily face and what goes (may go on) people's minds throughout the process of carrying them out.

Retouches by Georges Schwizegebed, Eiltänzer by Raimund Krumme and Vicenta by Sam were equally interesting.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The latest book I have read ...

I have been wanting to expand my knowledge on Myanmar and its historic setting since I have visited the country one year ago. I am therefore particularly happy to have fallen upon this incredible author, whose story is not only inspiring but provides the reader with thorough information regarding what the country has gone through, traditional aspects related to the Padaung and a few aspects worth pondering.

It is beautifully written, which adds to the overall opinion I have had of From the land of the green ghosts, whose reading I seemed not to want to end. I wish I had read it before I visited Myanmar because there would have been certain aspects I wouldn't have overlooked. It is definitely worth reading (eventually more than once).  

"Incisively told, remarkable story of a long journey from the hills of Burma to Cambridge University from a young Burmese man now living in Burma. (...) A distinguished accomplishment that radiates both intelligence and spiritual awareness."


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The 2 Day trip to Figueira da Foz - Day 2 (morning) - Tamargueira bay, the old fortress, the Parish Church of Buarcos - The 24th of July 2016

Sunday's temperatures rose above the so called normal temperatures one is used to during this time of the year, so my brother and I decided not to go to the beach and head towards Tamargueira bay instead so as to visit the small Misericórdia chapel in Buarcos, a fishing village which stands as an extansion of Figueira da Foz and still pertains to its burrough.

We weren't able to visit the late 16th century chapel, said to only open during mass but did walk around the fortress, which is a bastion-like ensemble dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Soon after, having heard the church bells of the parish Church we still managed to walk into it inbetween masses and take a few pictures.


Praise comes in different forms ...

Praise and recognition for one's work may not always be expressed ... and when it is it may be conveyed in different forms ...
I have had parents and grandparents of some of the children who attended the Summer courses giving me a few presents, some of which with the direct involvement of the children (I know the stones of the pieces of jewellery specially made for me were chosen by one of the girls and that the orchids were equally suggested by one of the children), but the greatest praise of all is the one which is "embedded" in the children's new way of approaching things having been influenced by the teacher ...

A lot more children have been asking parents and grandparents to make paper constructions and Artistic objects so as to expand their creativity, together with a request to attend next year's course which has made me immensely proud once I know I have had a direct influence on that new "perspective" towards Art and a willingness to keep on learning ... and to me those represent one of the highest forms of "appraisal" ... 

Bouquet given to me by Pedro and Luz's grandmother.

Bodyshop gift pack given to me by Bruno's grandmother (left). Jewellery pieces made by Lisa and Filipa's grandmother.

Special edition of the jungle book given to me by the mothers of Tico, Tomás, Madalena, Constança, Manel and Tiago together with a specially touching card.

Photos of António with his 3D paper construction sent to me by his father.

Photos of Bruno with his recently made 3D paper construction.

Filipa doing a scraping picture during an afternoon visit to see me. 


Monday, 25 July 2016

My two day trip to Figueira da Foz - Day 1 (afternoon) - Santos Rocha Municipal Museum - The 23rd of July 2016

In the early afternoon we decided to visit the local Museum, which I had been to many years ago and which my brother had never visited. Upon strolling around the Abadias public gardens we came across a few artistic sculptures spread along them, which we soon realised to pertain to a temporary exhibition because of a placard mentioning it.

Some of the sculptures were quite interesting, but I personally felt I would have liked to associate them to names -  the names of the artists who had actually made them, but there wasn't any indication whatsoever, so for the sake of future remembrance I'll just write down the names of the artists said to have participated in the venue "Encontros com a Arte Pública" - Abílio Febra, Beatriz Cunha, Carlos Andrade, Filipe Curado, Francisco Lucena, Gbriel Seixas, Jose´Plácido, Laranjeira Santos, Mário Nunes and Melício.

Mural painting by Luis Soares

Once inside the Museum we were pleasantly surprised to come across a few rather beautiful and valuable artefacts, I didn't recall having been there when I had visited the galleries before. Among the things we fell in love with were 19th century Indo-Portuguese furniture sets, 17th century chests of drawers and 18th century tables,  a 9,15 metre by 3,59 metre tapestry dating back to 1776, religious stone and clay sculptures made by mostly unknown artists, votive wooden paintings and even a few rather interesting objects from the former Portuguese colonies. 

Carriage used to transport a Portuguese Queen from the train station to the Peninsular casino.

I couldn't help photographing details of the  Indo-Portuguese wooden furniture pieces with ivory embedded motifs. Some of them were astonishingly beautiful.



What impressed me most regarding the early and late 18th century votive paintings was the fact that they were carried out for people and animals alike. One of those (unfortunately the photo taken with the mobile phone didn't come out well enough to be published) mentioned the devotion a landowner had for a particular Saint whom she asked for her pig to get better.

16th century limestone sculpture of The Eternal Father accredited as having been made by João de Ruão (left). 17th century limestone Mannerist sculpture depicting the Holy Trinity (right).

18th century Baroque polychrome wooden sculpture depicting either a Holy Bishop or Saint Martin.

17th century oil on wood altarpiece - Eternal Father in the course of blessing.

16th century Coimbra influenced Renaissance limestone altarpiece element depicting the Eternal Father.

16th century Gothic limestone sculpture depicting Saint Eulália or Olaia.

14th century Gothic limestone sculpture depicting the Calvary.

15th century Gothic limestone sculpture attributed to João Afonso depicting Our Lady with the child.

14th century limestone sculpture portraying Mary Magdalen which has been attributed to Master Pêro (left). 15th century Gothic limestone sculpture depicting the Holy Mothers (right).

Artefacts from Angola, Congo and Timor.
Despite not being into Modern Art I nevertheless visited the temporary exhibition - "Light, Matter and Movement" by a group of Spanish artists entitled Pegamento, as well as an equally temporary photo exhibition "India within us" by Alexandra Oliveira and Chuva Vasco.


Mixed technique on wood -  "Pegamento Planet" by Fabián Sambola

Had it not been for Santos Rocha who in 1894 founded a small Museum to house the valuable artefacts he had collected and what is now available for the local people and other visitors to see wouldn't be possible.