Art and Travel


Art and Travel

Forget the museums and the camera

By Jéssica Jacinto

When the Art defines the travel route

What if art is a reason to travel? The artistic expression alone allows those who create it and receive it to travel, but sometimes the desire to bring it to the real world can outline a travel itinerary. Several artists have turned their travels into paintings or have purposely travelled to capture the colours and textures of a particular place.

The places visited boost the artworks, but can these also shape the landscape? The case of the famous painting Café Terrace at Night – Vincent Van Gogh – shows how art really has the ability to change the real world. The café depicted by the painter during his stay in Arles, which still exists and is a landmark for visitors to the south of France, was redecorated in 1991 to the image of the well-known painting [1]. Visiting sites or recreating travel routes that inspired artists can be an alternative way to travel.

Brushes and sketchbook to crystallize the memories

Not all travellers have impressionist soul and skill, but since art is the guide it makes perfect sense to replace the camera with a sketchbook and brushes to store travel memories. In addition, compared to those of the camera, our lenses have a longer exposure time and require a longer click, an excuse to better absorb the places we visit and to notice their details.

For inspiration there are travel diaries to cause envy, such as those of the artist Dina Brodsky and Chandler O’Leary that can be visualized in art diffusion sites like the Colossal [2] or in the personal blogs of the artists [3].

Public space is the screen

Travelling to see art is not only synonymous with listing all the must-see museums. There is a growing trend for cities to increasingly include street art within their tourist circuits. The public space replaces the conventional museums and the streets, the electricity poles, the roads, the benches, the walls and the abandoned spaces are the screens. In addition to stimulating curiosity, street art makes us walk the cities on foot; get to know local corners and stories that do not come in conventional tour guides. Its bold spontaneity also reveals the culture of the country and its artists for free, fleeing to the boredom of the museums waiting lines.

The traveller can create his own street art routes, using tools that are available, such as the Google street art project [4], which frees up the location of the various artworks on a map or using mobile applications which, besides working as aggregators of collections of artworks that parade the streets, provide directions on how to reach the places. [5]

Routes of street art in Portugal

The streets of Portugal know artworks by artists such as Bordalo II [6], which uses end-of-life materials to give life to colourful animals that call for sustainable development and the need to manage waste. In the historic centre of Covilhã lives one of his animals, the artwork eyes of owl, in Águeda the European robin and in Estarreja the Kingfisher. [7] In Aveiro, after a long train trip, just outside the station, Vhils [8] surprises with one of his artworks.

Another option is to combine festivals, often free and open to the public, which promote urban art with the travel calendar. This is the case of the festival Aguitágueda [9], which takes place in Águeda, and combines music with street art. (This city is a very severe case of street art [10]). The Walk&Talk festival [11], in Azores, combines several forms of artistic expression that result in a mapping of artistic installations, the Circuit of Public Art, which can be visited in São Miguel Island.

This format of city route through art is also present in the festivals Lumina and Aura [12,13] that take place, respectively, in Cascais and Sintra. With a similar format, but with the particularity of the artists exhibiting in their own houses, the festival Caldas late night [14] takes place in Caldas da Rainha. A recent urban art festival, ESTAU [15] takes place in Estarreja and highlights the various artworks that exist along the streets of the county.

[5] [11]
[10] Shroomlens – Águeda

  • Abelia Herry

    It is the best way to promote both of these things among the fun seekers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *