about water (the river) – posted October 19, 2017 in Portugal

72 Marvau 001-5292 copyall images by Luis Branco

The last several weeks in Portugal have been a time for me to replenish and think things out. It is such a wonderful environment that Carolien and Ludger have created here at the Obras Artist Residency. My intention has been to “begin again” with a new body of performative photographs in the landscape in collaboration with Luis Branco and also to start a new abstract drawing practice based on the photographic works.

Luis and I had some previous discussions “about water” – doing something in the water. Coincidentally Cydney Payton, my Art Sister and Curator of All Things, had said something like – “Sherry you are always doing works on and about the land and the earth do something “about water.”

When I arrived here in the Alentejo in late September it had been one of the hottest driest summers ever in the Alentejo. The fires are burning north of here too. So finding water nearby was a bit of an issue.

We drove to Marvão, which is a spectacular walled city on a mountain north of here and close to the Spanish border. Friends Antonio and Fatima gave us instructions on where to go. It is a cooler climate than the Southern Alentejo, higher in elevation with more pine trees, amazing rock formations and much more moist and verdant. The Sever River / Rio Sever runs at the base of the mountain that Marvão sits atop of. There is a small town called Portagem that sits right along the river. We did a long photo shoot in the small river there. You see the Roman bridge in a few of the images. Here are a just few of those 600 images we made. They have not been corrected or chosen yet, but this gives a little glimpse of our work together. It has become even more collaborative in these new works -we riff on each other’s ideas and echo each other in a way and his eye, his framing and excellent photography takes the lead in these images.

72 Marvau 001-5442 copy


72 Marvau 001-5450 copy


72 Marvau 001-5467 copy


72 Marvau 001-5647 copy


72 Marvau 001-5657 copy


72 Marvau 001-5659 copy


There are many more images to edit and sort and more to make as well. Only one more week in Portugal for me.

18 thoughts on “about water (the river) – posted October 19, 2017 in Portugal

  1. Looks terrific. Very promising. We’ve been hearing about the fires, glad you’re ok. Next you’ll be doing Fire! Love, Wendy


  2. Thanks Wendy. Yes the fires are north and west of here. It is a very similar climate to Northern California where the fires are. But the rain has started which is wonderful. Not sure I am ready for Fire yet! xo Sherry


  3. Hi Sherry,
    Sure looks lovely where you are. I love the ones with the oval mirror, especially the close up one, where you only see the water in the mirror reflection.
    So beautiful and poignant! Love seeing you in Portugal…


  4. I love them all, but at this moment (and the moments change, of course), I particularly like the one with the wet veil across your bowed head. It reminds me of a Caulbearer — right down to the hair which looks like veins — a baby born with a caul or “born behind the veil,” who in many societies, is said to be born with “the [second] sight.”


  5. So great to see your new water series photos! You are following a tradition of artists who have focused on water and so connected with your previous work. Can’t wait to see the drawings! Good journey back to CO!


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