Portuguese street artist Jacqueline de Montaigne has unveiled her latest mural in São Brás de Alportel as part of a project entitled ‘Raízes’ (Roots).
Aptly named ‘Raízes II’, the mural is located near Parque Roberto Nobre near an old olive oil press inspired by Inês Sousa, an accordionist for the local folklore group Rancho Típico Sambrasense.
In the artist’s own words, the mural shows Inês on a “road lined with olive and almond trees, a typical symbol of the Algarve, a pattern extensively used throughout the mural with two almond flowers tucked behind her ear. The gold circle, which is real gold gilding, represents the gold of the olive oil, which was also used in the lamps they used in the same streets to light the roads at night.”
Her previous mural, ‘Raízes’, was unveiled in 2022 and was also inspired by another member of the folklore group, dancer Carlota.
Both works were completed following an invitation from the local council.
“A few years ago, I had been putting up some paste-ups in São Brás which are hand-painted paintings on paper that you apply to walls like publicity posters,” she explained.
“Someone in the town hall saw me doing this (with my son) and said they had been trying to figure out who had been doing this during the summers, as they had wanted to invite the person to do more. This led to meetings with the town hall whose president is a passionate street art appreciator,” Jacqueline said, adding that the meetings resulted in the creation of the ‘Raízes’ project.
The artist, who lives in Cascais and spent her summers in São Brás when she was growing up, is planning to create an even larger mural in 2024.
“Painting in São Brás is something I always look forward to, as it is one of my soul places where I feel completely at peace. Every corner of the old town is a magical place for me as I have been escaping to São Brás for over 40 years. So, to paint at this scale and bring my art to a place I love so much is definitely a special experience for me,” Jacqueline said.
Deputy mayor Marlene Guerreiro has also praised Jacqueline’s works in the borough.
“To have the opportunity to host works by Jacqueline Montaigne is an immense privilege that greatly honours the municipality of São Brás de Alportel,” she said.
Jacqueline’s public art has also been ranked no. 35 in the world’s top 100 murals by Street Art Cities in January 2023, thanks to her mural ‘The Language of Flowers’ situated in Lisbon’s Largo Hintze Ribeiro.