An impressive and imposing sculpture by 27-year-old Algarve artist Karine Pierre Vikre has been unveiled this month at Jardim do Mini Golf in Armação de Pêra (Silves).
Karine was born in Spain to a Danish father and French mother, and lived part of her childhood in the Algarve before moving to Lisbon. She has since moved back to the Algarve.
The sculpture, named ‘Finitor Polaris’ meaning horizon (Finitor) and polar star (Polaris) in Latin, was created by Karine as part of her final project while studying Sculpture at Lisbon’s Universidade das Belas Artes.
“It is inspired by the Portuguese Discoveries,” Karine told us. “I did a lot of research and learned about the quadrant, which was used to navigate. But I didn’t want the sculpture to be just about the quadrant. So, I took advantage of the fact that the sculpture had hollow tubes to also have it represent a harp. So, it is like a musical sculpture.”
As she explained, “when the wind blows through the cables, it makes a sound, and the sound of each cable is different.”
The sculpture, standing at 3.15m high and 3.16m long, took Karine around six months to complete, including all the research and planning that was needed to create it.
“It was a very tiring process, but it was gratifying. I love working with iron, and although I specialised in ceramics, I would have done so in iron if I had known what I know today.
“Iron is very sturdy; it requires persistence and a lot of caution. But if it were easy, it wouldn’t be as fun,” said the young artist.
Upon completing the sculpture, Karine contacted Silves Council to suggest displaying it in Armação de Pêra, as it is a town that has a historical link to the sea. The idea was warmly welcomed by the council, and the sculpture was officially inaugurated on September 2 during an event attended by friends and family, as well as Silves Mayor Rosa Palma.
“I couldn’t stop crying due to joy. It was a huge feat in my career and a very emotional day. I felt great gratitude for seeing the sculpture exhibited in front of friends and family and seeing it praised,” she told us.
While this was her first sculpture to be displayed publicly, Karine does not want it to be her last.
“I have some other ideas for other boroughs in the Algarve,” she said, adding, however, that they are still at early stages.
Karine currently works in Alvor while pursuing her career as an artist.
You can see more of Karine’s work at www.kahaarte.com, where she designs her own brand of interior art decorations.
By MICHAEL BRUXO