The shrines are handcraft using cardboard paper not following a specific module of architecture but my own imagination while assembling it.
The front facade or each shrine is decorated with many different materials such as small toys, sequins, beads, tassels and glitter, as an attempt to attract the viewer. From further the objects look like wooden made. Some even look solid and heavy. But, in close-up, the materiality of the objects is revelled by the imperfections and fragility of the paper.
The inspiration of this project is based on the Brazilian Baroque Art where during the Portuguese colonization, precious stones and gold was smuggled by priests, inside of figures of Saints carved in wood. The infamous “Santo do Pau Oco” hollowed-out wooden figures of saints. “Gold from Minas enabled Portugal to rebuild Lisbon after it had been razed by the 1755 earthquake; gold paid for its free-spending kings and especially for purchases of manufactures from England.”¹ The church took advantage of the situation promoting an increasing the religious art in the region to have free access to the illegal activity. Some might say that the holes are to make the sculptures lighter, easy to carry around.
On the outside the images show the purity of the religion but in the reality they carry the guilty, the sin, the smuggling, the profane.
The Portuguese word “Saudade” is not properly translated to English and Delusion has no translation in Portuguese.
The literal translation given to the Portuguese word “Saudade” to English is: longing, yearning or “I miss you”. The word “Saudade” has physical feeling attached to it. It is not simply verbal.
The same method of translation is applied to the English word “Delusion”: A false belief or wrong judgment. Translated to Portuguese as “Delirio, Ilusão” “Delirium, Illusion” in English. That is not the same meaning!
Sometimes words don’t really express the real meaning, perhaps for pure commodity or convenience. A much further investigation is necessary to understand the real meaning.
¹Frederico Morais – Art: The Gold of Minas Gerais – Brazilianart IV, 2003
“A large collection of “empty shrines”. These are hand-made boxes in cardboard and paper of various sizes and each beautifully decorated in a particular manner. These are evocative of a Roman Catholic childhood in Brazil but were intended to provoke both a sense of emptiness and joy. They leave room for the viewer to fill their empty spaces with religious or non-religious thoughts and imaginings.” Andrew J Pegram