A short while ago we had the opportunity to visit Beatriz in her studio. A beautiful, serene place that reminded us to some extent of Brazil, maybe because of the lush banana trees in the garden. Over a delicious breakfast, served over glass plates that she had glass blown herself, Beatriz opened up about her early experiences with art and the creative route she wants to take.
Kintu Studio: Thank you for speaking to us today Bea, can I call you that? How old are you?
Beatriz: Yes, of course (smiling). I'm 27.
Kintu Studio: Can you tell us a bit about your process of becoming an artist?
Beatriz: I wanted to do something I could truly love, although I believe this is something you always question as it can mutate.
During my BA in Graphic Design, I found it thrilling to create interactive experiences to observe movement. Initially, photography was a tool to do so. It led me to create a machine to print movement using cyanotype techniques and a mechanism where people would trigger the rotation of mirrors. I liked to look at it as a study of the unknown, which led me to write my dissertation on movement, optical perceptions and how photography affects the contemporary eye.
I loved the feeling of entering the metal workshop. Found the machines super sexy. Or at least, I felt sexy using them (laughs). I still like the physical use of my body whilst working. Movement, water, and light are very present themes in my work with plaster.
Alongside, I was working in set design - this passion for making 3D objects started to grow a lot. Even though the industry was very wasteful, I enjoyed working in such a fast-paced environment and developing different creative outputs to respond to varying aesthetics whilst always maintaining ‘your language’.
Kintu Studio: You were living in London right... Why did you return to Portugal?
Beatriz: In 2019, freshly graduated, I had an accident where I lost the tip of my finger. Luckily my friend Lucrezia was moving back after her studies in Bournemouth. I had seen her degree show, these big plaster blocks. I was thrilled to share a space with her. She thought me how to use plaster and for that, I’m very grateful.
After two years, I moved my studio to Alentejo. Just me and the trees.
Kintu Studio: Which part of Alentejo?
Beatriz: Next to Vila Nova de Milfontes. It was a nice six months. Then I moved here, Odivelas. I think the space calls to work with plaster, the factory is pretty close and the space isn't suitable for metalwork.
Kintu Studio: Do you think you will stay here in Lisbon or see yourself moving away?
Beatriz: I'm still establishing my studio here and I've been kind of slow as I still have doubts in relationship to my work. It is always an investment, so you question if this is the place you want to keep working in, what kind of things you want to make in the long run, etc... I created a very ‘modular studio’. It’s easy for me to move things around depending on the type of object I’m making. It gets interesting when you start to develop your tools and ways of working. My favourite tool is that grid you can see hanging from the ceiling. I work a lot with gravity now.
Moving for me does seem a little distant. The work that I have been making is big and tough to move... like those big weird rocks for your body to stretch on. I’ve been in this space for over a year now and it’s interesting to watch it become me.
Kintu Studio: In which direction do you want to take your work? What is your dream?
Beatriz: Big question! I hope to find a nourishing way for my pieces to exist and to deliver thought-out experiences. Maybe work with subjects of growing things and amplifying or absorbing sound. Guess I would like to feel like my projects have a beginning, a middle and an end.
I would like to collaborate with other people. Ideally, they would be educational experiences that are important for the future. Looking at what is going on in the world, especially within the energy and sustainability sector. I believe that art can be a vehicle for education.
It would be very interesting to go around visiting startups and witness the way they are developing new materials and just test them, use and abuse them. I think the reason I decided to become an artist in the first place was that art walks side by side with society. I always felt that as a human you try to integrate with all that is going on and art can be a positive force towards a better future.
Kintu Studio: I believe you're going to take part in Waking Life Festival, how do you find being part of this community?
Beatriz: It's a good festival. Being part of the build-up got me thinking a lot about what craft means and what building a community means. Crazy how all these people gather for months of hard work for us to listen to music and dance. It made me think of rituals, where you contribute something to celebrate life. Found it inspiring to see all the passion and devotion that exists behind projects like this. It raises this energy that creates a beautiful and inspiring community with extremely aligned values.
Kintu Studio: Thank you so much for telling us more about your life and work.
Beatriz: My pleasure :)