Joana Vasconcelos exhibits “Valquírias” at NorteShopping

There are two hanging sculptures from the artist’s collection, each weighing more than 200 kilos and seven meters in size, which are on display in the shopping centre.

As of today, and until September 2nd, NorteShopping will be transformed into a temporary museum to receive the exhibition “Valquírias de Joana Vasconcelos”. In an installation that seeks to explore art in its exhibition and didactic aspects, the artist shares two imposing sculptures suspended from the ceiling that have already been exhibited in cities such as Versailles or London.

These Valkyries, two exuberant sculptures with unusual bodies, are inspired by the female figures of Norse mythology who flew over the battlefields and literally gravitate to the central square of NorteShopping, making the shopping center a unique cultural space that is attractive to all visitors .

Mary Popinsis created from the combination of knitting and crocheting handmade wool, industrial knits, fabrics, ornaments, polystyrene, polyester and steel cables, resulting in a majestic sculpture weighing 219 kilograms and seven meters in width. Huge, colorful and tentacular, with six elongated arms, this Valkyrie has been exhibited at the British contemporary art gallery Haunch of Venison, in London (2010), at the Palace of Versailles, in France (2012), and at the Congress Center in Maastricht (2013).

Joana Vasconcelos’ second Valkyrie is called “Royal Valkyrie” and mixes handmade wool crochet, applications in felt, fabrics, props, inflatable, among other materials. Weighing over 220 kilos and nine meters in height, this suspended sculpture was produced with the collaboration of artisans from Nisa, using floral motifs and traditional techniques from this Portuguese village in the district of Portalegre. The piece is sponsored by the Manufacture Prelle, in Paris, and has already passed through the Palace of Versailles (2012), the Ajuda National Palace, in Lisbon (2013), and the Royal Academy of Arts, in London (2018).

For Paulo Valentim, director of NorteShopping, “to receive at the center the two sculptures from Joana Vasconcelos’ collection, both with such a relevant history, is an enormous pride for NorteShopping. This exhibition is an important milestone on the way to the center as a space that promotes access to culture and art, something that becomes even more significant during the pandemic, with the culture sector being one of the most affected.

Joana Vasconcelos says: “I still remember the installation I created in 2000 for Silo – Espaço Cultural, in partnership with Serralves and curated by João Fernandes. At the end of all these years, it’s good to come back here with these Valkyries who have already been to other countries in the world, they open their arms to the people who come here and bring art where it’s not usual to find it.

There are also several free activities associated with the exhibition “Valquírias de Joana Vasconcelos”, such as: guided visits to the works on August 10th and 24th, at 7pm; four crochet workshops for families on Saturdays (July 24th and 7th, 21st and 28th of August) at 11 am; on the 31st of july and the 14th of august, also saturdays and at the same time, there is a workshop on this traditional technique for adults. The number of participants is limited and registration is required at the information desk to guarantee a place, both on guided tours and workshops.

This exhibition is part of the “Cultura no Centro” initiative, the shopping center project managed by Sonae Sierra that aims to make art and culture accessible to everyone. Throughout 2021, various activities and artistic movements will be carried out in the shopping centers managed by the group, in order to make culture accessible to all Portuguese, from the north to the south of the country.

Joana Vasconcelos expõe “Valquírias” no NorteShopping © Tiago Matos, Balla
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