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The urban art of Graça neighbourhood is today another prominent spot in this art form in Lisbon, given its quality and relevant number of murals. In approaching this set of artworks, we have a specific purpose, that of revealing those in which the common denominator is women.
Although the importance of female participation in society is increasingly impactful, much remains to be done. And it is therefore necessary to emphasise the importance of gender equality. Everyone’s contribution, without exception, is fundamental to the development and evolution of humanity.
The pieces of urban art of Graça neighbourhood that we bring today refer to women from different perspectives. Here women are the theme and also, almost always, the author.
Join a tour and get to know the fabulous urban artworks in the centre of Lisbon.
Passeio Literário da Graça
We start with the Passeio Literário da Graça project (Literary Walk in Graça) promoted by the artistic and curatorial collective EBANO Collective, in collaboration with the City Council of Lisbon, the Galeria de Arte Urbana and the São Vicente Civil Parish.
This 2014 initiative aimed to pay homage to four female literary figures linked to the Graça neighborhood, as well as to promote their characteristic architectural heritage: the patios and vilas operárias (workers housing).
The tributes to Natália Correia, Angelina Vidal, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and Florbela Espanca were paid through urban art. However, not all the works produced have survived or are in their best state of conservation, as is typical of this art form.
In Rua Josefa de Óbidos we can admire the painting by stencil artist Daniel Eime. It is a tribute that the Portuguese artist chose to pay to the remarkable writer Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. As part of her work was dedicated to the younger generation, this writer marked Eime’s childhood and that of many children.
In Arco da Travessa do Monte and Travessa do Monte you can still see traces of the mural entitled The Poetesses, produced by Mariana Dias Coutinho.
To the portraits of the four poets that the artist painted, combining her distinctive style with the physical characteristics of each of the writers, the poem Ser Poeta by Florbela Espanca, written on a white background, was associated.
Mural by Leonor Brilha
This mural, signed by Leonor Brilha and located in Beco dos Peixinhos, reminds us of traditional embroidery. It is composed of decorative floral elements, present in the Love-Kerchiefs, in the embroideries of Viana, Guimarães and of Castelo Branco.
The author chose not to make special reference to any of the poets honoured in this project, but rather to highlight the contribution of their works in the defense of women’s right to freedom. They, who in the past lived deprived of their autonomy, found in embroidery a way of escape.
The inscribed phrase reads: “The house was nothing more than a cage, and when embroidering, the Portuguese woman wove the webs of silence.”
Read Urban Art Tributes to Personalities in Lisbon to get to know other tributes on artistic murals.
Women in Other Works of Urban Art of Graça Neighbourhood
In addition to the Passeio Literário da Graça project, we can also highlight other works in which women are protagonists.
Universal Personhood and Peace Guard
In 2017, American artist Obey Giant made two art pieces in this traditional neighborhood, during the Printed Matters exhibition, at the Underdogs Gallery in Lisbon.
The first, which we’ve already mentioned in Urban Art about Social Causes in Lisbon, is located at no. 39 of Rua Senhora da Glória and was carried out in collaboration with Vhils.
This painting belongs to the project Universal Personhood by Obey Giant that aims to promote peace, equality and humanity and evokes the discrimination of the rights of women in Arab countries.
The second, entitled Peace Guard, is located on the side of a building in Rua Natália Correia. It depicts a woman in uniform wielding a shotgun from which a red flower emerges.
This reminds us of the symbolic and important gesture carried out by a female figure in the revolution of April 1974. The carnation offered by Celeste to a soldier who placed it on the tip of the rifle, made this red flower a symbol of this peaceful revolution.
Once Upon a Time
Also in 2017 an artistic mural was made on the exterior façade of the Middle School Natália Correia, proposed under the Participatory Budget of Lisbon.
This work entitled Once Upon a Time is by illustrator Isa Silva. In it we can find characters, mostly female, of children’s tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Sea Girl.
Tales that convey messages and moral values that highlight the characters overcoming the vicissitudes of life.
Women’s Day Mural
In 2020, on International Women’s Day, the São Vicente Civil Parish joined the YESYOUCAN.SPRAY urban art intercultural collective, with the aim of inviting 17 female artists to paint the wall that surrounds the headquarters of the parish, in Rua Josefa de Óbidos.
In addition to drawing attention to domestic violence against women during the period of confinement due to the pandemic, another message was associated with this artistic intervention, that of “the need for eco-revolution from a female perspective”.
We’ve reached the end of this special tour around the urban art of Graça neighbourhood. We hope to contribute to the construction of a plural and solidary Lisbon, drawing attention to the problems of discrimination that still exist in society and, in this case in particular, the discrimination of gender.
The project getLISBON has been very rewarding and we want to continue revealing the singularities of fascinating Lisbon.
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