4 September 2015

Graffiti comes of age as elderly Portuguese try urban art

In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, Lara Seixo Rodrigues, left, helps Maria do Ceu Pais, 92, stencil the shape of her hand on a wall during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. By the time they have learned enough to start spraying on a wall, they are raring to go. "They drop their crutches and put aside their walking sticks and jump to it," Lara says. "They are all capable of having a much more active life."
Some are hard of hearing or don't see well, others complain about stiff joints, one is 101 years old. All have become graffiti artists under a project to energize Portugal's elderly.
Learning how to paint graffiti — a form of urban art often associated with unruly adolescents — is bringing cheer and a can-do attitude to pensioners in this rural Portuguese city. Until late last century, Covilha was a thriving textile center but it now has an aged population as the industry declined and the young left to find work.

The goal of the graffiti workshop is to get the elderly away from their knitting or sitting in cafes, says Lara Seixo Rodrigues, a local woman who launched the project. She wants to break their routines, keep them active and motivated, and bring them into contact with younger generations.
In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, Lourdes Pires, 84, walks away after spray painting on a wall during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. Learning how to paint street graffiti, a form of urban art often associated with unruly adolescents, is bringing cheer and a can-do attitude to pensioners in this rural Portuguese city.

And they rise to the challenge. 
Seixo Rodrigues says "they completely change in a couple of hours." At the start, they complain they can't do certain things, such as use a box cutter, but with some coaxing they do.
By the time they have learned enough to start spraying on a wall, they are raring to go. "They drop their crutches and put aside their walking sticks and jump to it," she says. "They are all capable of having a much more active life."
Seixo Rodrigues got the idea when she saw how local pensioners reacted to graffiti during an art festival in Covilha, located in a range of hills about 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Lisbon, the Portuguese capital.
The local elderly were fascinated by the graffiti, she says, and were full of questions about it.
The roughly 10-hour workshop is divided into four stages: lessons on the history of graffiti from the 1970s in the United States; helping participants create their own "tag," or signature; teaching them how to use stencils; and finally spraying paint onto a wall. The teaching team includes at least one young graffiti artist.
In this picture taken Sept. 1 2015, Raul Lopes Andrade, 82, copies the outline of his drawing onto cardboard to make a stencil during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. Learning how to paint street graffiti, a form of urban art often associated with unruly adolescents, is bringing cheer and a can-do attitude to pensioners in this rural Portuguese city.

Similar courses are taught in Germany, and Seixo Rodrigues has received inquiries from France and an invitation to Brazil.
When the time comes to start spraying, 101-year-old Emilia de Jesus Teles and 90-year-old Ana Torrao are among those pulling on a white gown and green rubber gloves.
"We're always learning," Torrao said. "It's good to keep learning until you die."  
(AP)      
In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, Emilia de Jesus Teles, who is 101 years old, spray paints on a wall during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. Some are hard of hearing or don't see well, others complain about stiff joints, and all have become graffiti artists under a project to energize the elderly in Portugal.
In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, Emilia de Jesus Teles, who is 101 years old, spray paints on a wall during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. Some are hard of hearing or don't see well, others complain about stiff joints, and all have become graffiti artists under a project to energize the elderly in Portugal.
In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, Lara Seixo Rodrigues, right, helps Emilia de Jesus Teles, 101, while in the background graffiti artist Adres assists Liberta da Fonseca Graca, 87, during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. With her workshop for the elderly, Lara tries to break their routines, keep them active and motivated, and bring them into contact with younger generations.
In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, Lara Seixo Rodrigues, right, helps Emilia de Jesus Teles, 101, while in the background graffiti artist Adres assists Liberta da Fonseca Graca, 87, during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. With her workshop for the elderly, Lara tries to break their routines, keep them active and motivated, and bring them into contact with younger generations.
In this picture taken Sept. 1 2015, A drawing by Joao Alfredo de Carvalho rests on the table as Maria Rosa Correia, 70, is helped to stand at the end of the first class of a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. The workshop for the elderly tries to break their routines, keep them active and motivated, and bring them into contact with younger generations.
In this picture taken Sept. 1 2015, A drawing by Joao Alfredo de Carvalho rests on the table as Maria Rosa Correia, 70, is helped to stand at the end of the first class of a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. The workshop for the elderly tries to break their routines, keep them active and motivated, and bring them into contact with younger generations.
In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, the participants of the street graffiti workshop Lata65, or Can65, pose in front of their mural after completion in Covilha, Portugal. The Lata65 workshop for the elderly aims at breaking their routines, keep them active and motivated, and bring them into contact with younger generations.
In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, the participants of the street graffiti workshop Lata65, or Can65, pose in front of their mural after completion in Covilha, Portugal. The Lata65 workshop for the elderly aims at breaking their routines, keep them active and motivated, and bring them into contact with younger generations.
In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, Lara Seixo Rodrigues, left, teaches Ana do Carmo Torrao, 90, how to spray paint on a wall during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. With her workshop for the elderly, Lara tries to break their routines, keep them active and motivated, and bring them into contact with younger generations.
In this picture taken Sept. 2 2015, Lara Seixo Rodrigues, left, teaches Ana do Carmo Torrao, 90, how to spray paint on a wall during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. With her workshop for the elderly, Lara tries to break their routines, keep them active and motivated, and bring them into contact with younger generations.
In this picture taken Sept. 1 2015, Liberta da Fonseca Graca, 87, cuts an outline of her hand on a piece of cardboard to make a stencil during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. Learning how to paint street graffiti, a form of urban art often associated with unruly adolescents, is bringing cheer and a can-do attitude to pensioners in this rural Portuguese city.
In this picture taken Sept. 1 2015, Liberta da Fonseca Graca, 87, cuts an outline of her hand on a piece of cardboard to make a stencil during a street graffiti workshop in Covilha, Portugal. Learning how to paint street graffiti, a form of urban art often associated with unruly adolescents, is bringing cheer and a can-do attitude to pensioners in this rural Portuguese city. 

No comments:

Post a Comment