A few days in Brazil

Twelve days ago I was bumbling along, starting to get in a bit of a panic about preparations for our Open Weekend. Then, out of the blue, I received an email from Lucila Longi, an employee of a Brazilian PR company, working in Sao Paulo. She explained that a client of theirs was involved in a large arts project in the city and they were keen to know if I could travel to Sao Paulo for a few days to take part in the project.

One of the large sculptures in the Sao Paulo exhibition

One of the large sculptures in the Sao Paulo exhibition: ‘Made by Brazilians’

As you can imagine, this was somewhat of a surprise and I passed it on to my agent, John and asked him to find out more about the project. There were a number of quite frantic days of negotiation before finally, on Tuesday we got the go ahead.

The project is based in an old, large and disused hospital building close to the centre of Sao Paulo. The building is shortly to be converted into an Arts and Cultural Centre, but before the work starts, the sponsors have organised a huge exhibition there, consisting of a hundred Brazilian and international artists.

Entrance to the old hospital at Cidade Matarazzo, Sao Paulo

Entrance to the old hospital at Cidade Matarazzo, Sao Paulo

I have been invited to spend a few days visiting and recording the building and exhibition prior to the new development. On my return to Scotland, I have been asked to create several paintings that capture the spirit of the building and this remarkable exhibition.

This all happened very rapidly and with the exhibition closing today, they needed to get me down to Brazil straight away. The sponsors very kindly agreed to pay for both myself and Anita to travel to and stay in Brazil, as they appreciated I would need a guide.

Suffice to say, it’s been a remarkable few days. The exhibition is really excellent and the old hospital building is a great venue. With the exhibition now over, the curator is meeting us tomorrow, so that we can spend a final day taking more photos, videos and for me to do some further drawings. We’re flying back on Tuesday evening and will arrive in Scotland somewhat crumpled, no doubt, around 24 hours after leaving Sao Paulo. Phew! Quite a week! More about this later.

Photographing part of the exhibition 'Made by Brazilians' at Cidade Matarazzo

Photographing part of the exhibition ‘Made by Brazilians’ at Cidade Matarazzo

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