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Joana Vasconcelos creates a giant “Tree of Life” for the chapel of Vincennes Castle

Joana Vasconcelos creates a giant “Tree of Life” for the chapel of Vincennes Castle

The Portuguese artist’s work will be incorporated into the small Castle Church on the eastern outskirts of Paris, France.

The artist looks back on a 26-year career.

Joana Vasconcelos, a Portuguese visual artist, has long been taking her creative work and talent beyond borders. After being awarded the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture, the 50-year-old artist, who was the first woman to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles, is preparing another work to show the world. It is a monumental textile sculpture designed for the chapel of the Castle of Vincennes in the Paris region.

Born in the French capital to Portuguese parents, Joana Vasconcelos began expressing herself in French at an early age, even after moving to Lisbon when she was just three years old. In the 1990s, the artist began to be visible in the art world with her first exhibition. Participation in the Venice Biennale with the piece “A Noiva” – a grandiose structure made of tampons for female intimate hygiene – made her internationally known.

This piece by the artist is on display in the garden at Waddesdon Manor in the UK.

The French government award, which aims to recognize people whose artistic work promotes the influence of the arts in France and in the world, was presented to him as part of the programming of the Portugal-France 2022 cross-season. , Joana Vasconcelos tells Rádio Renascença, referring to the work in progress entitled Árvore da vida.

The artwork, originally intended to depict a five meter tall laurel tree, will be a 13 meter tall tree that Joana Vasconcelos’ team will need to embroider thousands of leaves to fill the structure. The piece, by the Portuguese artist with a 26-year career, is “inspired by Bernini’s Daphne and pays tribute to woman’s self-determination, which also materializes in the character of Catherine de Medici, who after the death of her husband Henry II committed to its completion of the chapel that helps establish the connection between earth and heaven,” reads a press release issued on the day of the artist’s award.

Over the years, Joana Vasconcelos’ work has been featured in several French galleries and museums, including the Pinault Collection and the Louis Vuitton Foundation, having also worked with Channel and Dior.


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