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A Mosaic walk through Brasilia

Last Saturday, my friend and well known mosaicist, Cida Carvalho,  and me set off on a 3 hour walk through our current home town Brasilia. Being hungry after teaching our Saturday mosaic lessons we had lunch at the restaurant Dona Lenha,
which was decorated by Cida with mosaics in trencadis or pique assiette style (the style that was used by Antonio Gaudi) . During a delicious fish with grilled vegetables and a glas of wine Cida told me the story of the mosaic – That the owner approached her with the idea of covering many of the walls in trencadis mosaic to give the restaurant the flair that goes with its mediterranean cuisine. It was a huge project covering many square meters of wall including the kitchen area.

Cida tells me that a team of 8 people worked together for 4 month splitting the work in breaking tiles for 2 people and puzzling them together again, glueing them onto fibre netting and installing them at the restaurant. For parts of the benches a mosaic studio at a psychiatric hospital helped.

After being satisfied with flavors and colors our next destination is the museo do correo – the post museum in Brasilia.

Hidden in the sector bancario sul in one of the massive office buildings dating from the beginning of Brasilia – the 1960s you find unexpectedly 4 mosaic wall panels of about 4×5 meters with a masterfully crafted mosaic by Martha Poppe. Martha Poppe was commissioned to do these panels when the museum moved to its current locations in the beginning of the 2000.

We admire the color combinations and effects she achieves with the  vitreous glass material – in portuguese – pastillhas or vidrotil by the name of the manufacturer. Cida tells me about the vidrotil factory in Sao Paolo that since the 1950s produces glass mosaic for artistic use. One can send them ones color palette and they produce it for you. I am getting interested in this material and its offers for the mosaic craft…..



After our photo sessions  with the mosaics in front of the museum we move on to one of the main axis’s of Brasilia – W3.

W3 is  a busy commercial street cutting through inner city Brasilia. Along the shops in  different établissements one can admire mosaic craft as  community art. In the early 2000s a mosaic enthusiast with the name Gougon united different circles of people – women artists, other mosaicists to get together and create mosaics on a joint topic. The names of theses circles like Locos da pedra (crazy about stone) suggest a fun time together.

In the mercado municipal one can see a group work of mosaics depicting beautifully plants and fruits of the cerrado – the landscape surrounding Brasilia,

on the outside walls of the public library one can see mosaic illustrations of several poems of Brasilian writers.









One project of this circle were mosaic decorations on public bus stations. Unfortunately when the city renovated all of the bus stations these mosaics were destroyed .
The works of Gougon himself can be admired all over the city. His distinktive grey shade mosaic Portraits of known figures in Brasilian Politics appear all over a sudden when you stroll through town. On W3 you can find his work in Mercado Municipal (Athos Bulcao) and in the Bar Brasilia (J Kubichek)

I am planning to write about the interesting  works of Gougon in my next blog. Watch out!

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