Vasco Araújo – Story Telling

1 September – 7 October 2012

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Guildhall Rd, Northampton, NN1 1DP

1 September – 28 October 2012

Abington Park Museum, Park Avenue South, Northampton, NN1 5LW


Fishmarket is delighted to announce the upcoming solo exhibition by Portugese artist Vasco Araújo at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Abington Park Museum and Picturedrome, Northampton.  The project, entitled Story Telling, opens to the public on 1 September 2012 and consists of newly commissioned and previous work by Araújo accompanied by a book and series of events.  Storytelling is part of Fishmarket at…, a season of offsite projects across the town whilst the gallery renovate their new home at 9 Guildhall Road, Northampton.

Over the past twelve months Lisbon-based Araújo made a series of research visits to Northampton that has inspired the production of his new body of work based upon the town’s shoe and boot heritage.  The symbolic resonances of shoes – what they can mean in terms of identity, journeys and traces left behind – feed into the work.  Araújo is an artist and opera singer fascinated by personal narratives, selfhood and collective memory and works across media, incorporating sculpture, drawing, performance, video and text.

“A peasant woman is wearing her shoes. They are what they are only then….And in the dark openings of the shoes’ worn-out insides, we can see the difficulty and tiredness of the worker’s steps. The rough, solid sobriety of the shoes preserves the tenacity of her slow walk through the furrows…The leather contains the moisture and richness of the soil. The underside of the soles suggests the loneliness of her walk through the field as night is falling. The silent call of the earth, its mute offering of ripening wheat and its inexplicable refusal to yield crops in winter prevail in these instruments for putting on the feet. This tool is a vessel for the silent awe that precedes impending death.”

– excerpt from ‘Lasts’, written by Vasco Araújo to form part of the exhibition

Vasco Araújo’s international career has seen him undertake residencies at Récollets, Paris, Museum Fine Arts, Houston and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. He has had solo exhibitions at Jeu de Paume, Paris, Boston Center for the Arts and Crowley Gallery, Sydney and more as well as exhibiting extensively across Europe and beyond in group shows. His work is held in public and private collections in Europe as well as Dubai, Mexico, Israel and USA.

“Vasco Araújo (Lisbon, 1975) is one of the most acclaimed artists of the Portuguese contemporary art scene. His work has consistently explored the nature of established codes of communication – including those that are conveyed through gestures and movement – and the relationship between performativity sexuality and identity. Quite often, he finds his resources in classical mythology, opera, Baroque dance, courtly etiquette and social norms.”

– Museo d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona


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