Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wall With Soul

Cork material contemporary perspectives, narratives and visions of Portugueseness (Portugalidade).

Cork is a symbol of Portuguese identity. The identity aspects are mainly related with the cultural meaning of Cork material for Portugal, particularly important in the Cultural and Socio-Economic context of Portugal.
Portugal is the leading world cork exporter and is pioneer in designing everyday implements using cork material. According to the APCOR, Cork oak has a high economic and social importance in Portugal: Cork Oak and forest originate 12 thousand direct job posts in the industry, 6500 job in forest exploitation and, indirectly, thousands of employment positions related to other Cork Oak forest products (livestock farming, restaurants, tourism, etc.), contributing to 2,3% of the total annual national export and 30% of the combined Portuguese forestry exportations.[2]
In addition to benefiting Portugal is transforming a natural raw material, extracted cyclically from the trees without harming them, promoting the economic and social sustainability of areas at risk of desertification, making available high value added products that maintain the unique and intrinsic characteristics of cork, in an integrated transformation process that practically does not produce waste.
The identity aspects are mainly related with the cultural meaning of Cork material for Portugal, particularly important in the Cultural and Socio-Economic context of Portugal. The huge tradition of this material in Portugal, related either with the availability in nature either with the quantity and quality of Cork Products from Portugal, are particularity connect with the production of cork for wine bottles. However, there is an enormous space for the development of new innovative products.
The Project field research started with the selection of the place in which the work should take place. The recognition of the Local Context, at different levels: Social and Human, Cultural and Environmental were the starting point of this research. These findings were relevant to understand how the future activities could be integrated in the different referred levels.
The selected place- abandoned space of Av. Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro and R. da Ranha street junction (Gondomar, Portugal), because it is near the metro, the church, clinic, a passing train and other higher traffic public places because I wanted that “Wall with soul” be well seen.
Project is about how cork for wine bottles can be a piece of art in unexpected way. So my intention was to collect as many wine bottles corks as possible. It took me long time, to collect the desired amount of corks, but I was able to that. In the final “Wall with soul” visualization I glued to the wall 3141 wine cork.
The outcomes of the “Wall with soul” project were attracting more attention than even expected. “Wall of souls” made of corks reach a lot of people and not only time when I was making actual work but also get a big respond from people who checked my personal blog: My corks wall worked for sustainability because learned that vine cork can be recycled creative in a promising potential.
The approach of the project was interacting between people and artist by means of it exchanging knowledge. At the beginning of the projects there was a wide range of objectives related to reflection of opinions response. At the end of the project it was concluded the social, human and cultural aspects have been taken more or less thoroughly taken into account for art. In that sense the project can be concluded as successful.


[1] (Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR)) [online]. Available from: [Accessed 1 June 2012].


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