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Folders  |  African Art in Lisbon
African Art in Lisbon
Cédric Lecler
African Art in Lisbon
African art in Lisbon

As I happened to walk along Rua da Rosa, a well known street to all Lisbon night goers who like  alcoholic ‘shots’ and trendy places, I found Teresa Lacerda’s shop. When I found out that Denatura was one of the oldest shops in Bairro Alto – 34 years! I realized that I really didn’t know Lisbon that well.
I fell in love with this place where each object seems to have been picked for the particular spot it is in. We almost don´t want to buy anything and ruin the harmony of the place (forgive me Teresa!). But the owner of DeNatura is not just a keen fan of all things beautiful, a connoisseur of African and Asian art, but is herself a painter and sculptress influenced by her training, trips meetings and professional experiences.

Born in Queluz, she settled in Lisbon at age 16. From early on she took an interest in restoring works of art and was lucky enough to take part in the restoring of eastern manuscripts (paper) of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and which got damaged in the Lisbon floods in 1967.

But what she really fancies is theatre, that is why she continued her studies at the Lisbon Conservatory specializing in scenography.
She then sets off to see the world, particularly Paris and London, where she spends several years of her life and gains a large part of her future inspiration. Teresa feels some nostalgia from that time in her life, when everything was easier and you could live with not much in the French and English capitals.
One day, she decides to return to Portugal and open a furniture shop, of Indian and African origin.

Things don´t start too well for Teresa, who opens this shop in Bairro Alto on the 5th of April 1974, not imagining that 20 days later, a major event was going to change the course of things: the carnation revolution!
After this rather difficult baptism, the shop kicks off and soon becomes an inevitable spot to find a piece of furniture be it Indian or Thai. It is a phase of great enthusiasm for Indian arts.

At the same time, and in a rather shy manner, Teresa creates her own works of art and paintings, very much inspired in Indian and African art, and then sculptures, which reflect her interest in theatre and sceneries. During these years she also took part in creating sets for cinema.
To create her works she also likes to use natural objects or those that have nothing to do with their original function, pieces which she transforms to make birds or clothes. Today, it is African art that prevails in her shop. Masks from Mali, Ivory Coast, wizards clothing from Cameroon, spears from Papua…and jade from China. The shop is authentic and Teresa tells the story behind each object, eyes shining, with a passionate and undisguised pleasure.

Go and visit this shop, it is well worth it!

Teresa is going to organize an exhibition at Diferença Gallery (Rua Filipe Nery, 42 – 1250 Lisbon) related to the theme ‘Birds’, in November and December (2008).

Rua da Rosa 162 A – 1200- 389 Lisbon
Tel :213 466 081
Mobile phone: 96 894 32 69

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