Road to the USk Symposium #3

USk Manchester Symposium day -2 / Simpósio USk em Manchester dia -2

160725 Liverpool 01

The morning in Liverpool was spent revisiting some places from the day before, such as the Mann Island Buildings, designed by Broadway Malyan, or Bold Street, with Saint Luke’s Church peeking from afar. Also, taking a tour through the city bookstores and comic book stores, always a must.

A última manhã em Liverpool foi passada a revisitar alguns lugares do dia anterior, tais como os Edifícios de Mann Island, projecto da Broadway Malyan, ou a Bold Street, com a Igreja de São Lucas a espreitar ao fundo. Também a coscuvilhar as livrarias e lojas de banda desenhada locais. 

160725 Liverpool 02

The Liverpool Cathedral was the final exclamation point on the city’s tour. Its construction started in 1906 in a revivalist design gesture by Giles Gilbert Scott – the same architect that designed the Battersea Power Station, the somber, almost post-apocalyptic building in the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals. Ranging 189 meters in length, it’s the longest cathedral in the world, and it’s quite tall while at it. I always appreciate the lack of added decoration in protestant churches – makes for a better perception of the building’s beauty. An attitude that is usually lacking in catholic temples.

Catedral de Liverpool foi o ponto de exclamação na volta à cidade. Começou a ser construida em 1906 num gesto revivalista de Giles Gilbert Scott – o mesmo arquitecto que projectou a Central Energética de Battersea, o sinistro, quase pós-apocaliptico edifício da capa do álbum Animals, dos Pink Floyd. Com o comprimento de 189 metros, é a catedral mais longa do mundo, e também se ajeita em altura. Aprecio sempre a ausência de decoração adossada nas igrejas protestantes – torna a beleza dos edifícios mais aparente. Uma atitude que normalmente falta nas igrejas católicas. 

160725 Liverpool 03

My favourite subject – people – has been seriously neglected in this trip. I was able to make up for it on the train bound for Manchester and at a later venue.

O meu objecto de desenho favorito – as pessoas – tem estado a ser esquecido à séria nesta viagem. Pude tirar a barriga de misérias no comboio para Manchester, e mais tarde, num evento.

160725 Manchester 01

The road to Manchester was finally over, and it took me straight to the City Council square, where I found that, besides hosting the USk International Symposium, Manchester is also the European City of Science and stage to a Jazz Festival. A lot going on around here! This last venue warranted Hobgoblin Beer to set up a pavillion in the square, surrounded by some street food joints and a bunch of tables. Perfect setting to do some sketching.

O caminho para Manchester acabou finalmente, e levou-me directo à praça do City Council, onde descobri que, para além de anfitriã do Simpósio Internacional USk, Manchester é também a Cidade Europeia da Ciência e palco de um Festival de Jazz. Tanto a acontecer por aqui! Este último evento justificou a que a Cervejaria Hobgoblin levantasse um pavilhão na praça, rodeado por bancas de comida de rua e umas quantas mesas de exterior. O dispositivo ideal para ficar a desenhar.

160725 Manchester 02

A concert was starting inside the pavillion moments after the City Council sketch was done, so that was probably no coincidence. I made my way inside the tent, sat on the front row, and couldn’t help but sketch to the funky beat of Portmanteau, an English band with a tremendous amount of energy that got everybody to stand up right at the very end of the concert. Funk is not jazz, but they’ve sure earned their spot at the stage this night! In the end, I managed to mingle a bit with them and even got their autographs.

Começava um concerto dentro do pavilhão, apenas momentos depois de terminar o desenho do City Council – não aceitei o facto como coincidência. Entrei na tenda, sentei-me na fila da frente e não pude evitar desenhar ao som da batida funky dos Portmanteau, uma banda Inglesa com uma energia tremenda e que pôs toda a gende de pé mesmo no final do concerto. Funk não é jazz, mas sem dúvida que eles ganharam o lugar no palco esta noite! No final, ainda pude confraternizar um pouco com a banda e ficar com os seus autógrafos.

160725 Manchester 03

DEKL

Praça de Espanha, Lisboa, Portugal, DEKL, religion, Germany

Not only catholic bells toll in Lisboa. The DEKL (Deutsche Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Lissabon), commonly known in the city as ‘the German Church’, takes pride in claiming for itself “the only protestant bell, calling for prayers in the Iberian Peninsula“. This historical bell lays upon the tower of the 1934 building designed by the german modernist architect Otto Bartning, which used to stand nearly alone in the area once known as Palhavã, but has since been engulfed by a central business district.

Em Lisboa não dobram apenas sinos católicos. A DEKL (Deutsche Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Lissabon), conhecida na cidade como ‘a Igreja Alemã’, orgulha-se de ter “o único sino protestante a chamar pelo culto na Península Ibérica“. Este sino histórico repoisa no topo da torre do edifício de 1934 desenhado pelo arquitecto modernista alemão Otto Bartning, que costumava estar quase isolado na zona conhecida outrora como Palhavã, mas que desde então foi submersa por uma zona de escritórios.

Praça de Espanha, Lisboa, Portugal, DEKL, religion, Germany

The church gathers a small but faithful community of worshipers every Sunday morning. The few dozen voices sung during the service – all in German language – which, coupled with the wooden details, the simplicity of the ornaments and the lazy Sunday morning sunlight filtered through the warm stained glass, brought a feeling of peacefulness to the community. One could feel among old friends, watching as the choir sang, as pastor Leif Mennrich spoke to the community in a humorous tone and as the children partook in the service, stepping up to the microphone and telling everybody what they had learned that day. There was a feeling of closeness between the familiar faces and at the same time, openness to new faces – mine and that of a pastor that was on vacation in Lisboa and sat besides me, chatting and translating what she could.

A igreja reúne uma pequena mas fiel congregação todos os domingos de manhã. As poucas dúzias de vozes cantaram em coro durante a missa – tudo em língua alemã – que, junto com os detalhes em madeira, a simplicidade dos ornamentos e a luz do sol de domingo de manhã filtrada pelos vitrais quentes, espalharam uma sensação de paz pela comunidade. Poder-nos-iamos sentir entre velhos amigos, assistindo ao coro, ao pastor Leif Mennrich falando à comunidade com algum humor e vendo as crianças participarem na missa, subindo ao microfine e contando a todos o que tinham aprendido nesse dia. Havia uma sensação de proximidade entre caras familiares e ao mesmo tempo abertura a caras novas – a minha e a de uma pastora que estava de férias em Lisboa e se sentou a meu lado, conversando e traduzindo o que pudesse.

Praça de Espanha, Lisboa, Portugal, DEKL, religion, Germany

Later, after the service was wrapped up, the children ran outside to play catch in the yard, while some members of the community stepped in to the pastor’s home, right next to the church, for some coffee, tea and cake. The previous week, Mário Linhares had prepared the community for the presence of a sketcher, so I had a brief moment to capture the scene. But soon enough, people got curious and I was immersed by tea, cake and joyful chatter. It’s not only faith that ties this community together, but a sense of family, of siblinghood as well.

Mais tarde, depois da missa terminada, os miúdos correram para o jardim para jogar à apanhada, enquanto que alguns membros da comunidade entraram na casa do pastor, mesmo ao lado da igreja, para café, chá e bolos. Na semana anterior, O Mário Linhares já havia preparado a comunidade para a presença de um desenhador, portanto, tive alguma margem de tempo para captar a cena. Mas logo, os curiosos aproximaram-se e fiquei submergido por chá, bolos e conversa animada. Não é só a fé que une esta comunidade, mas um sentido de família e de irmandade também.

Praça de Espanha, Lisboa, Portugal, DEKL, religion, tea, Germany

These sketches will become part of a sketching exhibition on religions of Lisboa, organized by GLEM (Gabinete Lisboa Encruzilhada de Mundos) and Urban Sketchers Portugal. Mário Linhares and I were partnered to portrait DEKL. Check out Mário’s delightful graphic reportage, which includes a recording of the singing during DEKL’s service.

Estes desenhos farão parte de uma exposição sobre religiões em Lisboa, organizada pelo GLEM (Gabinete Lisboa Encruzilhada de Mundos) e os Urban Sketchers Portugal. O Mário Linhares e eu fomos encarregues de retratar a DEKL. Espreitem a extraordinária reportagem gráfica do Mário, que inclui uma gravação do canto durante a missa na DEKL.

 

Poland sketches #7 Music in Krakow

Excerpt of my text in Diários de Viagem 2 (Travelling journals 2) freely translated from the original Portuguese:

street singer, street musician, opera, music, Krakow, singer, Poland

“I like to focus in people, in their facial features – a legacy from Hugo Pratt, who used to study the features of the different peoples in his stories. The opera-singing lady in a street corner in front of the Church of St. Andrew in the Old Town of Kraków abused her features in a lofty exaggeration.

Sofia, fado, fadista, Poland, Krakow, Piękny Pies, music, Talking Dog, nightlife

Whereas Sofia, a portuguese girl we stumbled upon rehearsing for a mini fado show a few minutes later, expressed herself subtely with proud postures and slight movements, traits of a proper fado singer.”

Sofia, fado, fadista, Poland, Krakow, Piękny Pies, music, Talking Dog, nightlife

Poland sketches #5 Sights of Krakow

Krakow, Poland, Wawel, cathedral, Katedra Wawelska

Kraków is definitively more touristy than Warszawa. The medieval town’s survival during WWII made it possible for the city to skip the soviet-style modernist renovation and helped preserve the atmosphere of a historical European city, with all the layers of the preceding epochs in plain view. The historical center is peaceful, if a tad busy with mostly Russian and other European tourists going about. It was at a time, the capital city of Poland, until Sigismund III Vasa, part of a Swedish dynasty of kings moved the capital to Warszawa, to be closer to all the territories that the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled over.

Krakow, Poland, hot chocolate, chocolate, Wedel

Kraków’s historic center (the Old Town, Kazimierz and Wawel) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since ’78 and was one of the first of its kind. The cultural DNA of the city feels very different from that of Warszawa, partly because while Warszawa was closer to Russia, Sweden and Germany, and prey to their invading armies, Kraków was closer to the Habsburg Empire’s ambitions.

 

Lisbon sketching tour

sketching, workshop, students, S. Domingos, St Domenick, church, dominican, Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal

A couple of friends traveled all the way from Istanbul with their multi-national art class, for a few days’ field trip to Lisboa. I was honored to be invited as an instructor in a 3-hour sketching workshop/tour around the old squares of the capital’s downtown. It was one of those rainy April days, and neither one of the sketching stops I had planned were sheltered. I had to resort to a sketchy (pun intended) plan B. We took shelter wherever we could and altered the route just enough so that we’d be a little bit more comfortable. The workshop took us to Terreiro do Paço, Largo Camões and Largo de S. Domingos, city squares with different atmospheres and historical backgrounds. I didn’t have much time to sketch myself as I was trying to go through the sketching activity of the talented young ones.

fado, Bairro Alto, Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal, show, guitar, music

After a brief respite, we all went to a fado show in an auditorium in Bairro Alto. The singers started off slow, but got a hold on the crowd soon after. He whose dedication never waned was the man playing portuguese guitar. His strong but intricate fingering of the strings was what was keeping the show in pace!

dinner, Cervejaria Trindade, Trindade, Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, food

The afternoon ended in the only semi-traditional semi-touristic restaurant that was large enough to fit the entire crew of talented young artists and their talented not-so-young teachers. I was most happy and proud to join them in this short journey across my adopted home town.