On a sunny Saturday in March, the Luz Ocean Club was buzzing with activity as people came to peruse over 30 craft and design stalls. In recent years, the western Algarve has become a mecca for artists so events like this are an opportunity to experience the diverse range of talent that is inspired by the natural beauty of this area.
This was a welcome event for organiser Liza Walker, from Craft and Design Portugal. The restrictions of the last two years have been particularly damning for crafters. Finally, they could display their wares in a safe outdoor environment. Tomorrow magazine went along to chat to some of the stallholders, whose talent and creativity were on display.
Angie-Lynne is a self-taught mixed medium artist fusing her floristry background with traditional artwork. She grew up in the UK and South Africa and has lived in Portugal since June 2021.
She started her new venture of floral artwork when she was in lockdown and couldn’t create flowers for events and weddings. One afternoon she took her two boys for a walk in the park and they started collecting leaves and dried flowers. Then whilst at home, she wanted to get creative, so she started painting – then, looking at the dried flowers, she thought, ‘wow, that could be hair’. She added the dried flowers to make the headpiece and her Fleur la Femme series emerged.
She’s now busy working on a few commissions for family portraits and a hotel art piece.
“I am inspired by nature and its infinite beauty. I love the complexity of each flower and the many ways in which it can be transformed to create beautiful artwork. I also want the blooms to live on.”
Angie also loves Art Deco and has created a few floral artworks inspired by the ladies with blooms in the works of Alfonso Mucha.
Whilst her boys are at school, you’ll often find Angie-Lynne foraging the beautiful landscapes for her floral treasures to add to her collection. “The abundance of flowers and fauna found along the beach cliffs and forests really adds to my artwork pieces.”
It was Vilma’s Vicente’s first Craft Fair ever! “I’ve always painted a little bit and crafted different things just for myself, but more recently, I gained the courage to start thinking about doing it for other people. I was encouraged by my boyfriend and friends who pushed me to show my work off.”
Portuguese, Vilma grew up in Costa de Caparica and graduated with a degree in Design from Lisbon Fine Arts University (Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade de Lisboa). She works as a photographer and videographer, specialising in action sports. She dedicates her free time to her arts and crafts.
“I’ve been coming to the Algarve with family and friends since I was a little kid. I don’t know what it is, but the Algarve has a special vibe and positive atmosphere that has always inspired me. I decided to move to the Algarve four years ago for a different lifestyle and to be more connected with nature and the ocean. Sagres was the obvious choice due to the good surf conditions and raw nature. It’s been the perfect choice for playing in the waves and connecting with nature, which in turn fuels my artistic side.”
Vilma explores Fluid Art, first experimenting with acrylic pouring in canvas and recently with epoxy resin both in canvas and utility objects.
“I think that art should reach everybody and everything, even the simple objects that surround us every day in our homes.”
Whatsapp: +351 963 836 161
Maria Jenkins was attracting people to her stall with her eye-catching ceramic pieces and her adorable miniature dogs, Chihuahua Mary and poodle-like Marilyn. All have just moved to Portugal from Vietnam.
Originally from the UK, Maria has been an art teacher for all her working life, for the last seven years in Singapore and Vietnam. Before moving abroad, she was Head of Art at Dulwich College in London. She reluctantly left Vietnam last year, mainly due to the fact that COVID restrictions meant not seeing her daughter, who was studying in London, for two years.
Her husband is Portuguese, so it made sense to move to the Algarve and she has been able to catch up with her daughter and the Portuguese side of the family, as well as adding Billi to her dog pack! Her small ceramic pieces were originally inspired by her love of azulejo tiles, although she comments, “I seem to be straying ever further away from the traditional blue and white. I started making jewellery while I was in Vietnam, and it has been fun working out how to combine the clay and the jewellery in a way that is starting to make sense.”
Maria is now planning to set up some drawing and printmaking workshops in the not too distant future. “It’s exciting to be making plans, and I am really looking forward to furthering connections with artists and designers here, who have all been exceptionally welcoming.”
Mary and Mickey Craig
Mickey Craig is a metal artist who was featured in Tomorrow in 2017. He was a metal worker for over 40 years, but when he retired to Portugal, he turned his talents to artwork and often visits scrap yards to find reusable materials. He says, “Art is freedom. I love to look at the movement of nature. I try to create something that combines my love of nature’s movements with an imaginary mechanical movement. I love for people to stop and stare at my art. I can almost see their minds working to trace the movements. My greatest joy is when I am asked if it works. Yes, if you see it, it does!”
When his wife Mary was in recovery after a serious illness, Mickey bought her a couple of canvases and acrylic paints and brushes. She recounts, “With Mickey’s encouragement and inspiration from the Algarve countryside and YouTube tutorials, I developed my art. I have a preference for wildflowers and trees.” After doing a few canvases, Mickey took them to several galleries and craft markets and to Mary’s surprise, they were sold. She also makes air dry trinket trays and plaster of Paris castings of wildflowers.
Facebook Group: Craft and Design Portugal