O Sudário by Cristina Rodrigues, one of the most important Portuguese visual artists of her generation, creates a dialogue between tradition and contemporaneity.
Cristina Rodrigues (Porto, 1980) is one of the most important Portuguese visual artists of her generation. The eclecticism that emanates from her works speaks to her passions and academic education. After graduating with a degree in Architecture at Porto and studying Medieval and Renaissance History, she completed a PhD at the Manchester School of Art and received a grant in 2011 to develop her research project “Design for Desertification”. She then focused her work on studying and searching Portuguese territories with low population density while beginning to create some of her most moving textile works. It’s not surprising that she moved to Manchester, the former European textile capital, where she held her major exhibition, Women for My Country, in the city’s cathedral.
O Sudario is a hand-printed textile installation created specifically for the Colombo Art Biennale (Sri Lanka) in 2016. To create it Rodrigues immersed herself in the textile traditions of Viseu (Portugal), renowned as the country’s most important centre of traditional linen production. There she sought the collaboration of weavers from Várzea de Calde, women who are carrying on the area’s artisanal history using age-old linen production techniques. With these methods they weaved the linen panels for O Sudario, which she then adorned with bands of silk and satin ribbons, also produced in Portugal, creating a dialogue between tradition and contemporaneity, achieving a modern testimony that connects to old narrations.
All of Rodrigues’ work is guided by a simple aesthetic that flutters between social ethnography, anthropology and sustainability. She creates each of her pieces meticulously, producing sculptural relics that reveal the background of the work itself and the artistic identity of obsolete objects. She masterfully blends virtuosity with the common, and her installations are as universal in their meaning as they are local in their inspiration. What’s more, all of her artistic interventions champion the role of women as guardians of cultural tradition, steadfast keepers of a heritage that tends to disappear.
Photo (c) Marco Coutinho Longo
Artist: Cristina Rodrigues
Produced by: Cristina Rodrigues
Supported by: Municipality of Viseu
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