Sunday, November 8, 2009

The hands of a wonderful artist

Early this morning, when I opened the newspaper, I had the grateful surprise of meeting the art of a Brazilian 85-year-old lady, whose hands create beautiful, expressive women in clay, using natural colors from the earth. Izabel Mendes, aka "Mestra Dona Izabel", started creating kitchen tools in clay to sell and help raising her kids after his husband died when she was young, back in the beginning of last century. Soon she had the idea of making dolls recreating ordinary scenes that she watched in her life, like weddings, funerals, births.

Not by chance, her skills developed to a form of art that became famous beyond her tiny village in Minas Gerais state, Vale do Jequitinhonha (now try to say this word out loud! LOL). Turists from abroad would travel hundred kilometers by bus just to see and buy her awesome ladies. She was generous enough to teach many people in her village the art of clay moulding, so that they could survive their hard life.

Now there's a Prize for new artisans with her name to help Brazilian artisans.

The happy end for this lady who, in the beginning, used to walk 11 kilometers to sell her tools at popular fairs, is that she will have her first individual exhibition in a famous Sao Paulo Gallery, and her clay ladies got an upgrade becoming real art - with equable sale prices.

I'm in love with her!

7 comentários:

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

What a fantastic talent this artist has. I am glad to see her succeed.

There is some very famous clay near where I grew up, too. But it was used to make dishes, mainly. But there, too, it was simple ladies who discovered it and learned to refine it and work it, to make a living in what was then a man's world!

Tori said...

Her art is beautiful, it's wonderful that she is becoming so recognized!

Bridgett said...

Awww...this gives me goosebumps!

So happy for her.

But truly, the recognition is obviously deserved. These clay figures are amazing!


Rue said...

What stunning pieces! She is a true talent - I'm glad it's finally realized by the artistic community. Thanks for showing these!

Dragonstar said...

What beautiful figures these are. And it's wonderful that the artist is recognised in her lifetime - so often this is not the case.

Divaeva said...

indeed some beautiful pieces! I loved your heartfelt tribute post to her! It made me smile! *hugs*

Mist said...

Wow! Her creations are just gorgeous. I love the fact that she uses scenes from everyday life, like a breastfeeding mother. Thanks for sharing, Nydia!