Harmonia Femina – A multicultural painting project

I met Alexandre while I was photographing at the Gulbenkian Gardens, in Lisbon.

Alexandre approached me with a big canvas, randomly divided in different geometric shapes, and asked me if I would like to paint a space. Painting is one of my “phobias” – a trauma that accompanies me since my highschool days, where we had to take on drawing classes, which I dreaded… I embarrassedly said no, but was really interested in his project.

Alexandre Martins holding up his canvas with the "Harmonia Feminina Project"

Alexandre Martins holding up his canvas with the “Harmonia Feminina Project

Here’s a brief description of the project, on Alexandre’s words:

This is the result of the first approach of the Feminine Harmony Project (Harmonia Feminina). It consists in having several women from different ages to pain one of the canvas’ segment.

The purpose of this project is that in the end of all the segments are painted, it will be possible to identify a clear harmony between women from differente ages and / or nationalities, with different life backgrounds whom have never met, showing that is it possible to show unity despite their differences.

The location we chose for this first edition was the Gulbelkian Gardens. Since it was so successful, we have already chosen two more places for this project: second edition will be at Praça do Comércio (Terreiro do Paço), and the third in the Parque das Nações (Oriente) gardens. We are hoping to approach different women from different backgrounds and religions, united by the painting / canvas.

If you are interested in contacting Alexandre directly, please send me a message and I will pass you his email address.

I told Alexandre I would like to have his project up on the blog, and asked him to send me over some photos of the finished product. Alexandre sent me the images over this weekend, with a template with the names, ages and professions of each participant:

The template with the name, age and profession of each participant.

The template with the name, age and profession of each participant.

Alexandre is a student at ISCTE – in Business, totally unrelated to art or painting! He says the idea for this project came simply to create something to fill the empty walls at their student housing, on the República Santo Condestável.

Here are some photos of the results of this incredible painting project. I will try and catch up with Alexandre to follow is ongoing multicultural project!

As a traveller and a graduate in the Visual Culture area, I think this is a great way of depicting society and culture.

Well done Alexandre! Looking forward to see more of your project 🙂

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