Inspired by the Algarve

Artists explain how the Algarve inspires them when creating their art.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine March 2016


Teresa Mariano: 

“The Algarve inspires me with every breath I take; literally every time I breathe in the hot and sweet aromas in the air here. I was born in the Algarve, in Tavira, near the sea. Feeling the presence of the sea gives me peace and comfort when working. I simply couldn’t live without sun, salt, sand, or sea.

It is in the Algarve that I’m happy; I feel at home here and therefore I am able to create. Many of my pieces are inspired by Arabic ceramics and made by using traditional ceramic glazing techniques. I look at my art and am reminded, by both colour and design, of the sea and the fish living in it.

I love pottery and the Algarve for the same reasons: the magic, the colour, the light, the brightness and the immortality of their essence.”


Georg Scheele:

“In Germany, I worked very figurative in an expressive way. In Portugal, there is more freedom, my soul started to dance and this joy needed another, lighter, expression. Also the light is different: Germany is dark and misty, whereas Portugal is clear and bright, especially in spring and autumn.

Marble needs this sunlight; it’s very transparent and perfect for expressing shadows. I aim to transform this heavy material into a very light and floating form, as this eventually happens with everything in the world.

Nature is the background for my creations. The shapes of the waves, rocks and cliffs inspire me. If I I’m stuck, I’ll go to the top of Fóia and stare out over sea. I need a certain frame to sculpt; it’s best done when feeling relaxed and that’s possible in a natural and quiet place like the Algarve.”


Jessica Dunn:

“My work has gradually developed in the over 20 years I’ve lived here, but one thing has remained throughout: my appreciation for the southern Portuguese sunlight. It was a huge contrast coming from those grey days in London, struggling in artificial light, to entering the bright, sharp technicolour of the Algarve.

I began painting scenes of traditional Algarvian life: old men playing cards in the street, folkloric dancers, fishermen sorting their nets. As my work developed, my palette became lighter. My children became my muses, splashing in pools or playing on beaches, figures against a sun-drenched backdrop of seaside life.

Now my work has taken an abstract direction, influenced by the heat of the land and the coolness of the sea. However, it still focusses on the intense sunlight, conjuring in vivid blues and ochres the rugged beauty of the Algarve.”


Tara & Sylvain Bongard:

Tara: “The Algarve has always been mentioned for its luminosity. There are more light lit locations in the world, but here there’s a diversity that opens my senses to nature, it lets me reach closer and touch. For me, it’s essential to collect a physical memory in order to later recreate it in clay or pencil. Spring especially is an exciting moment with the chance to slip into the cool waters and observe the life hiding there.”

Silvain: “When I open my eyes I see the stunning prehistoric coastline, glowing soft with golden inner light. Rocks are filled with thousands of faces. Inland, trees offer me cool escape below their dense foliage. The mountains are a hideaway in the Algarve, a lush resting ground, evergreen and flowing with natural springs. When I close my eyes the light fades. But the ingredients that inspire me are still clear.”



See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine March 2016

Posted in Features.