In April 2018 I was an artist in residence at Raizvanguarda in the small town of Bordeiro, Portugal. It was my second time to this residency, exactly two years after my first visit. I arrived at a time where everything initially still felt exactly the same as two years ago but you could feel the buzz of times changing; the residency was thinking of changing things, there was talk of building a chicken factory just outside the village, the climate was changing..but the day to day felt very much like it had two years ago; quiet and peaceful.
Bordeiro is a very small town and almost no one lives there anymore, to do our groceries or go out we would walk about 45 minutes to the larger town of Gois; a very nice walk through several smaller towns and along beautiful gardens that were just starting to bloom. As the first project there, I embroidered several flowers I found along the way of one of these walks, as a temporary diary of a moment in time. They’re photographed with the needle in them and sometimes in progress, to show the temporary nature we associate with flowers and link that to the act of embroidering. However, once the embroidery is finished it will stay that way for a very long time, and flowers in Chinese silk embroidery actually symbolise longevity. This paradox is something I found in Bordeiro itself, and like with the flowers, I don’t know exactly where it’s going to go.
This residency eventually culminated in one larger needlepainting called Symbiosis I, which you can find here.