© Rita Draper Frazão

Inner Tour is a blog about People, Arts and Traveling by Rita Draper Frazão.
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sexta-feira, 20 de março de 2015

Inside "Durante o todo e o Oco" Exhibition


Mentioned in January that I'd get back to my last painting exhibition subject, that took place in Lisbon, in Zaratan.

During the opening, many visitors asked for an Exhibition guided tour, which the gallery and me agreed to do. Unfortunately, for health reasons, it was not possible for me to do so.

This article also serves the purpose of a virtual guided tour to the ones who didn't have the chance to see it and specially to the ones who did go, couldn't get the meaning of what this was all about, and asked me to write about it. I will share a selection of the pieces shown and will let you know my personal thoughts about it. 

"Durante o todo e o oco" was an exhibition about my process of painting, and, for the first time, I showcased some of my abstract works, some that I started doing in 2012.

The following Jack Kerouac's quote from the Dharma Bums, inspired the title of this exhibition and introduces the viewer to its context.


"Things are empty in time and space and mind. I figured it all out and the next day feeling very exhilarated I felt the time had come to explain everything to my family. They laughed more than anything else. But listen! No! Look! It's simple, let me lay it but as simple and concise as I can. All things are empty, ain't they?" 

Whattayou mean, empty, I'm holding this orange in my hand, ain't I?
"It's empty, everythin's empty, things come but to go, all things made have to be unmade, and they'll have to be unmade simply because they were made!"

Some examples of these papers

It was, as a result of my figurative work practice in illustration and painting (that I have been sharing with you here) that this exhibition took form. 

It has to do with my way of painting, meaning, many times I use other types of paper underneath the main sheet I am working on. 

The paper, used as a stamp.
Papers used as ink pot & for alphabet, color and collage tests.
Typography test & ink waste reuse 

Sometimes, I also use them as stamps, ink pot and palette to color and typography tests. And I can use the same paper underneath over and over. Many of these figurative drawings take place in a book form, and this way allows me not to stain the other pages. 

One of the paintings also shown in the Azores lot.

This is part of my process for years, but it was only when the Conversas project invited me to show as an associated artist at Walk and Talk Festival in Azores, that I realized these "other papers" where no longer other stuff, they where becoming a main subject, since we decided to show a few of them on this specific event.  Thank you to the Conversas's mentors, Mafalda & Constança for trusting me! I miss you both! 

From that point on, I started more consciously collecting these papers, minding its color combinations, its layers limits... It felt a lot to me that while I was doing a painting or drawing, I was, at the same time, producing something hollow, void, that afterwords would became a shape, a painting of its own, hence the Kerouac's quote and the title of this exhibition, "Durante o todo e o Oco", that means something like "In between whole and hollow". 

Toilet paper used as a blotting paper. 

I also got more interested in reusing things we'd throw away. I used paper I found in the street, toilet paper, and reused inks as well. 

Two of my artist books

I started reusing my inks waste in a Lisbon cultural program brochure (left book) and a book I made myself with blank paper and old magazine collages (right book). In this image, you can see some selected pages of these two. The curators were key to help me out choosing what pages to show.

Using simple resources at my reach was a necessary mean, as all of this was as instinctive as: do I like this paper texture, or this color combination?  Does this typography matches what I want to conveyDoes this paper absorbs well the ink I'm using? 

This is one worked as blotting paper, and then I created a paper texture by folding it.
The curators were supreme in the way they suggested to display this one. It was suspended on air.

Much more than the result, these paintings where minding a lot how they have been made, and what it took for them to be made.

I thought of a parallel like free jazz, where musicians meet with no music scores agreed or prompt repertoire on the sleeve to play. How they make sounds and interact with the environment around turns out to be an important factor.

The trio performing at Zaratan in the opening.

Things happened with the liberty of this music and that was the reason why I invited the improvisers Maria Radich, Luís Vicente and João Madeira to join me, and play in the opening.

I felt I had to give wings to these colors in some other way I haven't done before, how this music has done with me, with its utterly free breath of life. And being the empties that allow us to realize forms, hollow was what most appealed to me, because of the sound implicit in this word, in its existential gesture of perceiving the whole and the void, by knocking.

It was on purpose that none of the paintings were framed (the only exception was the toilet paper due to its fragility). I wanted it to look as raw and free as this process felt to me. I took it as an experimental moment.


I have to thank many people. This exhibition took a lot of work and I was never alone along its process.

I am very proud of what Zaratan is doing. Thank you dear curators (Gemma and Zé) for all your support, dedication and work. What you do makes a difference in this town. Your ideas and suggestions were at all times useful to my personal development as a human being and artist.

To the musicians who did an outstanding job sharing their talent with us. It was a privilege. 

To all visitors, friends and family who accompanied me in this journey. Thank you by your interest and friendship! Your insights were my kaleidoscope delight.

The first made, from this series. Used as an ink pot.

All the photos from this exhibition you see here were made by Carloto Cotta and were used with his permission. Thank you :) 

I dedicate this post to Evan Parker and all that took part in the X Jazz artist residency, where the first of these paintings was done. It changed my life! You all rock! Thank you :)

Ultimately, a window was closed and a door was opened.

Happy Spring everybody!






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