Interviews | August 6, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Fátima Santos

Interview: Fátima Santos
Luca Curci
talks with Fátima Santos during the eighth edition of LONDON CONTEMPORARY 2023, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.

Fátima Santos studied Art and Design (PhD) at the Faculty of Fine Arts – University of Porto, Portugal (2018). In 2027 she was awarded the Erasmus Plus 2 European Community Mobility Grant – University of Porto at Winthrop University, South Carolina, USA. Fátima Santos has been selected for several awards, including the JCE / Jeune Creation Européenne Contemporary Art Biennale (2017-2019) and the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Prize (2009 and 2013). Her works are part of several collections, including 5 Centuries of Drawing in the Collection of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto, and the Norlinda and José Lima Collection. She has exhibited regularly since 2007 with participation in group exhibitions in Portugal, England, Japan, Italy, France, Denmark, Spain, Romania and Latvia and individual exhibitions in Portugal and the USA. Fátima Santos has also participated as an accordionist in several musical projects with edited albums and concerts in Portugal, Mexico, Denmark, Spain and Mali.

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Image courtesy of Fátima Santos

Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Fátima Santos –
Drawing has always been an integral part of my practice and research in art. Throughout my academic career, from my Degree in Visual Arts to my Master’s in Painting and PhD in Art and Design, my artistic practice has aimed to connect musical theory and the elements of visual language, through the representation of audible parallelepiped structures, in which each colour corresponds to a musical note. These connections are explored and developed throughout the creative process through sketches, which precede painting, sculpture, or formal drawing, in geometric abstraction. Currently, besides the cubic structures, there is another element to be seen in my drawings; the concert hall seating plans. I intend my drawings to register fragments of soundscapes, where the time and the movement of a melody are materialised in irregular traces and soft pastel stains in dialogue with straight and homogeneous lines. The music will always be the (pre)text.

LC – What are you currently working on?
FS –
My current focus is mainly on exploring the visual representation of time and movement through drawing on paper, utilising the potentialities of pastels, pen and collage.

LC – Is there an unrealised or unrealisable project, even a crazy one, that you would like to work on?
FS –
I think my highest achievement as an artist would be to be able to display my artworks whilst simultaneously performing the depicted compositions on my accordion. Alongside my education and career in the visual arts, I also have a formal background in music, more specifically, the accordion. Between 2003 and 2017 I played with several world music projects, with published albums and concerts not only in my native Portugal but also in Mexico, Mali, Denmark, Spain… From there, an interest always came about in bringing music (theory) into my painting, sculpture and drawing.

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Image courtesy of Fátima Santos

LC – What are the three hashtags essential to define your poetics that you could not give up?
FS –
My three hashtags are #contemporaryart #geometricabstraction #interdisciplinaryart

LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
FS –
As an artist, my preferred theme consists of establishing connections between music and visual arts. The code I have developed over the years and all my artwork is also reflected in my PhD in Art and Design entitled: The pictorial process: the participation of musical theory in geometric abstraction.

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Image courtesy of Fátima Santos

LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
FS –
I participated only in the 8th edition of London Contemporary. At first contact, ITSLIQUID Group seemed very well organised and very professional. This exhibition was very diverse, and the arrangement of the works in the gallery was balanced and harmonious. It was a very positive experience for me.

LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
FS –
My drawings D_Ab_C Concert Hall and C_Bb_G Concert Hall realise moments in a concert hall. The stillness of this space is interrupted by lights that come on sporadically. The drawing registers the time and movement of the sounds and melodies through soft pastels, that cross the space and emerge from the paper. From the drawings´ title, we perceive the colours and musical notes that belong to this space. The musical note D (green), A flat (blue-green), C (yellow), G (yellow-green) B flat (red-orange) and their green circles symbolise my accordion and me. In the here and now, my drawing is both rehearsal and concert combined.

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Image courtesy of Fátima Santos

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
FS –
The organisation is professional and capable.

LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
FS –
Absolutely. In your project, there are no artistic boundaries and that is very positive. The service is good, prompt, personalised and accurate.

LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
FS –
Keep on working hard and making a difference in the (art) world.

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Image courtesy of Fátima Santos

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