Monday, 20 May 2019

Lisbon Streets: Colours, Fonts and Patterns

Perfection is difficult to put in words. Lisbon has it's own kind of character that roots back in country's multicultural history and fearless attitude in mixing influences from different eras of time. The city is not a museum that would preserve it's old buildings from modern day life. It was enlightening to see a mural or finely finished graffiti on an old wall or spot these colourful pieces of art in a scenery that's profile has been the same for centuries. 

When I visited in modern and contemporary art museums the same way of thinking was present in the philosophy of curating exhibitions. Discussion was the key of interpreting these exhibitions that offered a way of seeing and thinking that connects different time layers. Old objects offered a background to understand what we have today and how they connect to art of the last decades. Old and new works were mixed together so that it was possible to dive into a stream of thoughts where people with same kind of visual world interact without the boundaries that result from short human lives that don't meet. I think to preserve what is dear through taking it as a part of everyday life and new phenomenons is the most fruitful way. 

Colours that are present everywhere in Lisbon were one of the main reasons to travel to the city. The whole city was full of combinations one bolder the other. Might not be a surprise that I am totally in love with strong colours that do not apologize or try to be neutral. Might be a good idea to take watercolours, fabrics and embroidery yarns from the storage once a again and begin to go through what combinations would work in quilts. There was such an overload of colour I felt like I was bathing both in sunlight and colours. One night I couldn't sleep and I came up with a new pattern idea I draw instantly to my sketch book. The trip was inspiring in many ways and it will take time to unravel all that has been stored inside my head during those two weeks in Lisbon.

My souvenirs from the trip were mainly untangible; ideas and inspiration. When I dragged my luggage from railway station to home I passed my neighbour. After telling him where I had been he asked me what I had learned on my trip. I said that mainly it was all about colours that I brought with me. When I pondered more about the question at home I came up with plenty of things that I had not known before I traveled to Lisbon. 

Learning is one of the leading thoughts about travel if we look back history and for example grand tours. Nowadays we do walk through places and museums that are meant to teach us something. Now that I had the privilege to stay a bit longer than just few days I had the possibility to stop and think through what I heard and saw. Because I live here in Finland and Northern Europe the issues that are up in the news and daily discussions are mainly concentrated on topics that relate this area or that are brought up as internationally meaningful. The perspective is very narrow and leaves out many topics. In Lisbon I got to look Europe from other perspective and it was good to hear what are current issues in Portugal. Also IndieLisboa film festival took place in the same weeks I was in the city and I got a chance to see movies that I might not otherwise see. 

Even if we are living in globalized world still what is around us is local in a way, algorithms see where we live and who with and use that knowledge to optimize content to us so that it is not possible to see outside the box. When I made searches what to see and experience in Lisbon I got the same lists of sights, museums and places. I could have visited those key places virtually; Find out more about Belem Tower for example. But without the ground knowledge that can be gained in a place by following the discussions, seeing what is on in culture and political environment, it is not even possible to ask the questions and use Google to find out more. Maybe the era of grand tours is not behind us after all. 

Museu Colecao Berardo.