Today, we revisit Isa’s first-person story of being the first urban sketcher to whom we presented the challenge of illustrating, along with other artists, our book of bookmarks LISBOA MARCA, which highlights relevant themes of this city. In Lisbon in Us by Isa Silva, she tells us how being a visual artist leads her to notice and discover the many details, nooks and corners, of this “delicious” Lisbon that she loves so much.
If you’d ask me what I like so much about Lisbon, I’d answer right away: its light and colours.
I’m a visual artist and everything that is image and creativity fascinates me and makes me attentive. And Lisbon has so so much to discover. It’s a very drawable, photographable, captivating and delicious city!
It’s the nooks and corners of Lisbon that are intertwined with the river that refreshes the city during the day and embraces it at night. This mixture results in a marriage of emotions and sensibilities that has given rise to so much art and when I say art I mean music, gastronomy, painting, sculpture, writing, jewellery, handicrafts and so much more!
This shell-shaped city, where I like to get “lost” and that I enjoy discovering by either drawing or by photographing it. Sometimes I just stop and listen to life moving. So funny, stylish and traditional.
I’ve followed the aging and abandonment of the city in the 80’s and 90’s of the last century to, a decade later and with the increase of tourism, witness its reinvention as a modern city without, however, losing its traditionality. I confess that my only fear is that it loses its identity. However, at the same time, I have hopes that it won’t happen because we’d lose so much…
As an illustrator (among other things) and Urban Sketcher, I register and discover the city in a different way. Drawing forces us to notice things that we wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. It gives us time; we have time to enjoy what we see, be it a small detail in a door or the general setting.
I particularly like windows and doors and Lisbon has a collection so vast that it surprises us.
Lisbon is a city of contrasts where the old meets the new, where the history of centuries surprises those who discover it, where food takes you to the 4 corners of the world going up and down narrow stairs or wide streets, where the smallest artwork painted on the wall competes with the most monumental iconic buildings… I like the so-called Urban Art. The city is an open-air gallery and many of these works can be seen from the city’s most famous viewpoints. One of my works (the largest in the area) is in Largo de Sapadores, just outside the Graça neighbourhood and it was as a result of my painting project Square Faces.
It’s an enigmatic but mysteriously revealing city.
Follow the entire route of tram 28 and you’ll understand what I mean…
|Lisbon in Us by Isa Silva|
|Mini introduction||I was born in Lisbon in the summer of 1966 and since then my imagination and creativity have never left me. I work in illustration, graphic design and painting (among other things). I combine these passions with photography and writing.I’ve participated in several collective and individual exhibitions and have some books published.|
In 2013 I created my best known painting project, Square Faces, and was the author and costume designer in a play for children.
A year later, I made my debut in urban art.
I’ve been part of Urban Sketchers Portugal since 2010.
|An inspiring place||By the river at the end of the day|
|An unmissable visit||The viewpoint of Nossa Senhora do Monte or the top of São Vicente de Fora Monastery|
|Her mouth waters with…||Bacalhau à Brás (a cod fish recipe), Bifana (pork steak sandwich), Pastel de Nata (Portuguese egg tart)|
|A song…||Lisboa by Melody Gardot (this singer/songwriter is a super fan of Lisbon and comes to the city often)|
Note: Original article published on 24 September 2021.
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