Interview: Rua do Mundo by Filipa Teles

Interview Filipa Teles
Par SÁ³nia SEARA SILVESTRE Il y a 6 ans
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 By the time Filipa Teles created Rua do Mundo 


Filipa was far from knowing her brand was actually a prophecy, as today the street that inspired her is crowded with people from all over the planet. Capturing Portugal in a variety of materials, Rua do Mundo exists to bring us the richness, the colourful and the variety of a country that spreads way beyond Europe. We spoke to Filipa to discover a little bit more of this street that actually is a window to the Portuguese world.



How was Rua do Mundo born??


I have a degree in Portuguese Decorative Arts and was a student under Professor José Meco, a specialist and passionate for tile art, I owe him this tile fixation. By 2010, my sister, cousin and myself created PortArt, a brand that brought Portuguese symbols to everyday objects from illustration to jewellery. Soon after both my cousin and sister embraced author projects and I continued the project on my own, producing and distributing the creations we had. The brand had a natural and gradual evolution.


By the time I stayed as the only responsible for the project the articles changed and there was also the need to change the brand’s name. Rua do Mundo was born soon after I photographed Rua do Mundo back in 2012. These photographs started being sold  as an experiment on markets, together the badges, serigraphs, notebooks made manually at Carapau Amarelo’s atelier and the magnetic tiles from Colecção Azulejo. And so Rua do Mundo came into existence, carrying the ancient name of Rua da Misericórdia, in Lisbon where a world of people passes by nowadays. 



Filipa Teles



Rua do Mundo fits how many Portugals?


All of them! In fact, the first photographic collection Rua do Mundo starts with printing some images from my holidays, those poetic photos that you can’t fit in one album, and that keep on letting me stay behind on a go or return from the beach, or that force me to take a different route to the market or coffee but that I feel as so meaningful as all the others, and that carry me to the pleasure of that moment when I captured them.


One day I decided to select some, print them and take them with me to the market. They had a very good acceptance. I presented these also to the shops where Rua do Mundo is represented and they welcomed the idea. As such at Rua do Mundo you may find both fragments and instants from Portugal, its islands and mainland.


The Magnetic Tiles from Colecção Azulejo also feature beautiful and original patterns I’ve discovered all over Portugal. If the photo collection started with photos from my holidays nowadays I book days alone just to photograph. I like going by train, alone, at my own pace without leaving someone waiting because I feel into the enchantment of tiles and stoneworks somewhere along the way. I keep my eye out to Portuguese details, truthfully I draw my attention to the experiences that leave a mark on the architecture of a place, and because the Portuguese where almost everywhere I end up discovering beautiful traces  that illustrate their passage. Architecture, tiles, stonework, flower tapestry, plasterboards, signs. I photograph and register, I take notes of some stories the locals tell and the name of those places. 



It’s very interesting you mention an inspiration from Portugal’s architectural and cultural landscape, can you give us some examples of art pieces and what inspired them ?


The magnetics from Coleção Azulejo are the most evident pieces of that inspiration. I’m constantly looking for original patterns and variations. It’s very interesting as I’ve found the same patterns in very distant places, I remember ones I found in Lagoa, a village in São Miguel, Azores, exactly alike ones I’ve seen in Porto. This happens because the people who created the ceramics factory in Lagoa was actually a family that came from Gaia, in Porto. They took the pattern elsewhere and created such an aesthetic coincidence.


I’ve also found identical patterns both in Brazil and Mozambique, although used in different ways. I believe these are very beautiful confluences.




Which one is your bestseller item ?


The bestseller items are both the Rua do Mundo photographs and the magnetic Colecção Azulejo. 


Generally people like the photos and take them, they like to do compositions with two or three to decorate a wall at home. It’s very gratifying to feel the emotion of the people who buy my photos as we’re alike in a certain way, as like me they love that detail captured in an image and they take them home with them.  It’s a good feeling. 


The magnetics from Colecção Azulejo have a simpler explanation for their success, they’re beautiful, they have several patterns to choose from, they are an economic and impulse even purchase. I like to see them as an incentive to print and memorise the best moments so we can constantly remind them. The serigraphy of the Tram, the Bicycle and Famel are also very appreciated and sold. After those the swallow badges printed in tissue and the stickers Swallow and Cerejas o Ano Inteiro.





Rua do Mundo was created before the touristic boom Portugal, and its cities, have had in the last years. Do you see a bigger interest from tourists in your art ?


Yes, without doubt. Both from tourists and foreign people residing in Portugal. It’s very interesting to see the variety of nationalities that cross path with us, local artists, in street markets where I can have a direct connection to the buyer. Australia, Brazil, Japan, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Peru where some of my art’s destinations. I’m very happy for it.


Besides these we also have Lisbon residents from Brazil, France and Spain, that love to decorate their Portuguese homes. 


This tourist boom also opened a new path with guided visits, hostels and local lodgement searching for Rua do Mundo’s art to decorate their spaces or ordering small souvenirs, some exclusive, to offer their clients, it’s both a wonderful way to spread a word for conservation as on every article containing a tile image there’s a message about the importance of their preservation, preventing people from buying original used tiles, and of course it’s good for business.  



Where can we find Rua do Mundo’s Art ?


Rua do Mundo is represented in some physical shops, with a careful selection and respecting our small production. In Lisbon you may find them in A Vida Portuguesa, at Museu Berardo’s shop, at the Museu do Azulejo and Quer shop in Príncipe Real.


I usually attend Mercado do Príncipe Real, happening in the second Friday and Saturday of each month. From June on Rua do Mundo will be in a shared space with four other local artist brands at Lx Factory, open from tuesday to saturado from 12am to 7pm. 


In Porto you can find us in Serralves. At the online store , you can check all stores and also buy online. 


Not only Rua do Mundo exists in different art objects but there’s also space to artistic dialogue through partnerships, tell us about these. 


Artistic partnerships happen because I love both the work and the people, it’s a marvellous energetic symbiosis. I can specifically refer Maria Boavida, from Carapau Amarelo, a wonderful serigraphy workshop, where all objects with this paper technique are printed (notebooks and serigraphy), and Isabel Colher from Tardoz, a ceramic restoration workshop where I would love to spend more time, learning and absorbing all technicalities and steps towards the creation of such beautiful tiles (together we created the pack notebook+tile).


The most precious about manual crafts is the fact that if that person doesn’t do it, in many cases, no one else will. Being a manual craft adds value, makes it singular, original and valuable. It’s a beautiful and scary idea as there are so many arts and crafts disappearing.