The Urban Art Faces in the Blue Wall is a peculiar project of art pieces with one single theme, created on a sky blue 1-km-long wall. Let’s dive in!
getLisbon has already had the opportunity of sharing with you the open-air urban art galleries of the municipal neighbourhoods:
- The Urban Art Gallery of the Quinta do Mocho
- The Urban Art of Bairro Padre Cruz in Lisbon
As well as the initiative Às 5 no Mercado – The Urban Art of Chão do Loureiro Car Park.
This time we’re taking you to Rua das Murtas in the back of the old Júlio de Matos Hospital, current Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa (Hospital – Mental Health Service), in the zone of Avenidas Novas.
The Project of Urban Art Faces in the Blue Wall
The project of urban art Faces in the Blue Wall was a joint initiative of the Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa and of GAU – Urban Art Gallery of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the City Council.
The motto of this joint intervention evokes mental health, calling attention to a serious and global issue that can affect anyone, independently of their economic condition, ethnicity or culture.
On 10 October 2012, for the World Mental Health Day, the artistic intervention on the wall that delimits the Psychiatric Hospital was initiated. After several stages, it was concluded three years later, in 2015.
All the local and foreign artists that intervened in the urban art Faces in the Blue Wall, whether it was through proposals, competitions or by invitation, had to express themselves on the theme “the face” and use sky blue as the background colour.
Among the authors of this long mural, those who participated in the initial phase were: Aspen, Eime, José Carvalho, Mar, Miguel Ayako, Nark, Nomen, Odeith, Robô, Slap and Smile.
In the last phase participated international artists such as Jorit Agoch, Nadine Boulengier, Vanessa Rosa and Jimmy C. And local artists: Godmess, Vanessa Teodoro, Isa Silva and Ôje.
In total about 77 paintings were created by 61 artists, resulting in one of the considered longest urban art mural of Europe.
Although “faces” was the only theme, we can find on this mural an immense diversity of artistic expressions, from calligraphy to photo-realism as well as different messages associated to each one of the pieces.
Joy, sadness, rage and confusion are only a few of the emotions shown on the many faces represented here.
A close look to this set of art pieces leads us to realise the complexity of the human mind.
The message left by Leonor Brilha, the cover photo of this article, makes us think about the multiple challenges we face in life. Some might give us new important tools, but other can torment us, leading us to need to seek help.
The importance of mental health has been expressed here in this long mural.
Even several years after the start of this initiative, many of the pieces are still in perfect state. At the same time, new pieces keep emerging, a very characteristic aspect of the dynamic street art.
Join us and walk along this blue wall!
Curious FactThe Urban Art Faces in the Blue Wall in Google Arts and Culture
The urban art Faces in the Blue Wall is one of the several projects of street art of Lisbon that can be seen online on Google Arts and Culture, that belongs to Google Cultural Institute, where millions of stories, art pieces and monuments of the whole world can be read and virtually visited.
More specifically, in Google Street Art we can find stories about urban art worldwide and with the map we can explore a vast number of interventions that have already been catalogued. Its goal is the digital preservation of this ephemeral art.