The 9th of July saw the opening of the RARA Retrospective at Parque Atlântico. The exhibition featuring contemporary handicrafts and design objects, created under the Handicraft Residencies of the Azores Region, RARA in Portuguese (Residências de Artesanato da Região dos Açores), will be on show on the ground floor of the shopping and leisure centre until the 31st of July. This is the 6th edition of the initiative which has taken place since 2014, during the Walk &Talk Festival.
Several workshops are also scheduled to be held during the exhibition, as well as a talk with curator Miguel Flores and the designers and artisans participating in the project. The RARA Retrospective highlights projects born out of the joint efforts between designers, from multiple areas of the globe, and local Azorean artisans working with materials and techniques such as wood, basalt, wicker, fish scales, ceramics, weaving and typography. Sessions will include a fish scale workshop with artisan Idalina Negalha and a wicker workshop with handicraftsman Alcídio Andrade. The Walk & Talk festival will also be promoting guided visits to Quinta do Priôlo where participants will be able to follow the process and see work in progress at the residencies.
Besides the rare encounter and experience between people of different origins, generations and artistic backgrounds, the residencies behind the exhibition, are also moments of warmth and support motivated by high regard and esteem and the wish to innovate the cultural heritage of the Azores.
The exhibition will be presented on a structure made of cryptomeria wood conceived by architect Nuno Paiva specifically for this purpose with the intent of transforming the environment and the centre’s walking circuit by adding to it the sculpture-like structure which can be touched, opened and explored by visitors.
Some of the objects on exhibit will be available for purchase and all profits will be used to sponsor the artisans’ activities and to support the continuity of the residencies which in 2019 have brought together designers Filipe Alarcão and Soraia Gomes and artisans Horácio Raposo and Alcídio Andrade endorsed by the Embassy of the United States and hosted by Quinta do Príôlo and the Arrisca Association. The event marks the unique partnership between Parque Atlântico and the Walk & Talk Arts Festival.
The Walk & Talk Festival has been the Azorean Arts Festival since 2011 and takes place in July for a fortnight whilst the residency programme takes place throughout the year. Experimental and participatory, the project encourages the creation of new objects based on a dialogue with the territory and the sociocultural specificities of the Azorean archipelago. It focusses on involving both local and visiting communities through current artistic practices and research and intersects art, dance, performance, theatre, architecture, design, film and music. This year’s ninth edition of the festival brings together artists, curators, architects, designers, performers and musicians invited to create and present their pieces, most of which are new projects developed under the residency programme on the Atlantic archipelago in over 20 spots on São Miguel Island integrated in five different art circuits: The Island circuit, the Exhibition circuit, the Performance circuit, the Residency circuit, of which RARA is a part of, and the Knowledge circuit.