Galeria Boavista Lisbon


15 Unidentified Species

An exhibition produced by Nuno Carrusca featuring work by André Avelãs, James Beckett, Seamus Cater and Marianne Vierø

March 5th 2011, from 21.00 - Performance by Seamus Cater at 22.30

Galeria Boavista
Rua da Boavista 50, 1200 Lisbon, Portugal
The exhibitions runs from:
March 5th – March 27th 2011
Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 15.00-18.00


‘15 Unidentified Species’ takes as its starting point Sociedade de Construções Fernandes & Fernandes, a sawmill located in Lisbon’s Campolide area. Having grown up in its bustling environment artist Andre Avelãs, the grandson of the sawmill’s founders, has initiated a project inviting three international artists to work with him at the sawmill during a month long artist residency. In reflection, the four artists have made historical investigation, romantic craft and sound oriented works using the mill as initial muse.

The mill was set up in 1951 and has stayed in the Fernandes family ever since. Its history spans import, processing and production of large quantities of tropical and regional wood, large-scale construction projects, and service to the local community. Today the mill concentrates on the sale of specialist wood and customized furniture repair and production.

Aside from the obvious social and historical significance of the mill, the working period and exhibition around the subject is seen as a chance to exist for a month as a temporary community, a forum for discussion and creativity. The selected artists share an uncanny material obsession, and in this project wood is naturally the keen focus point. How it is shaped, what it means, both as nature and eventual human-artefact?

Marianne Vierø is a Danish artist exploiting raw materials repetitively and with playful awareness. Her practice involves collisions between traditional craft technique and industrial mechanized processes. These investigations inquire how methods of production influence possible interpretations of a given object.

Portuguese sound artist André Avelãs works predominantly with machinery and electronics. His works are often visceral and sometimes extreme although, - quite ironically, both elegant and sublime. This project of Avelãs is a study of the sounds produced by surface tensions between various wood types and steel.

English performing artist, songwriter and carpenter Seamus Cater makes conceptual works which combine the sensibilities of these disciplines. Through enquiry related to time spent at the sawmill, works have emerged in textual and physical renderings. Anecdotal songs and artefacts evolve simultaneously in a chain of association illustrating people, labour and environment.

James Beckett is a South African artist whose projects document industrial histories, usually in a pseudo-archeological approach. Staying true to habit, Beckett will produce a series of biographical and material portraits of the family sawmill, using both found and constructed objects.

‘15 Unidentified Species’ will later travel to Amsterdam, where the four artists currently reside. In its second phase the exhibition will include works by other artists, relating to the sensibility of the project.

The project and exhibition are generously supported by the municipality of Lisbon and Fonds BKVB, the Netherlands.
Nothing would be possible without the Avelãs and Fernandes families.