The unsustainable lightness of sculpture
Maria Leal da Costa, in the fabrication of sculptures:
“We do not debate wastefully between the truth and a lie, the regression or evolution, problems in the end that are external to the substance of Art; contrast in stone and steel, a resolute commitment in an intention, an illustrious talent”
- Joaquim Pinto da Silva
Born in Évora Maria Leal Da Costa later on went to live in Lisbon, where she worked in fashion and design but never rejecting the Alentejo and discovering it once again many years later in Portalegre.
She believes that sculpture also has a contextualized philosophy which can be of a great help. Sometimes there are texts relating to a piece which can then change the meaning. Sculpture has to come from all that surrounds one, which is extremely important. Often a piece is forgotten and does not live the life it should although a piece may be exquisite but is not being well displayed.
Throughout her career Maria Leal Da Costa has been offered many opportunities to participate in exhibitions including Exhibition for the Marvão Town Hall, Portugal, “The Born Again Chestnut”, and Lithuania, Vilnius, the Cultural Capital,. She was also commissioned to create “The Tower of Belem” for the visually impaired by the Rotary Club.
Each piece can take many months to complete and at times not in consecutive months. Firstly, she studies the theme thoroughly, sketching away with the dimension in her head. This makes it very clear as to how a piece evolves and helps in being clear in how to cut a block in the right place although mistakes do happen and then it is back to the beginning. The making of a sculpture can be physically very tiring, requiring physical stamina, which she confesses to like very much, preferring hard materials to softer ones like ceramic. Everyone of us develops a sensitivity to any given material.
"When I make a sculpture, I think that in 500 years time it will endure and I believe this to be important. We all know of art that has existed for many thousands of years because of its resistance and durability, otherwise we would not know of its history and its culture. Actually in the end it is through art that we learn much about the evolution of civilizations and where we are today."