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(À) Voz do barro

 “(À) voz do barro”:  An encounter between the anthropologist and visual artist Maurício Panella with the traditional potters of Sobrado / Rio Grande do Norte State in Brazil which has as a central objective to definitively mark the meeting between Mr. Panella with the traditional potters  of Sobrado.

   Since 2005, a creative partnership has been established that fosters mutual projects and incentives. On one hand, the potters nourish the researcher and visual artist with their traditional references (removal of clay, treading of clay, manual modeling of the dishes, polishing and burning artisanal). On the other hand, the artist who always visits the community  and always invites them to exhibit their pieces, as well as,  give modeling workshops around the public sculpture Casa Mãe Terra / Parque das Dunas (author's work / year 2003). This exchange of knowledge and actions generated a great friendship all throught  these many years.

This project, even by its title, ( not possible to translate in English) has some specific points: 1) to pay homage to the traditional potters of Sobrado , because it is an offer, a tribute to the grandmas / masters of the clay  2) Therefore, (À) vos, also has the sense to refer to the Grandmothers of clay, great teachers. The tradition of craftsmanship in Sobrado is carried out only by women for generations. It is the Grandmothers who pass on to their daughters and their granddaughters. It is these Grandmothers who have received the knowledge of their mothers and grandparents. There are families in Sobrado that  have 5 generations still alive . 3) The project  created a sound emitted by the pots made.

These three objectives guide will aim to: 1) Carry out an inventory / mapping / photographic record of the production of crockery in Sobrado. Almost 20 people have been identified in the community. This inventory is very important, since it is noted that in the past, there were much more women dedicated to this traditional work. 2) Create an installation / exhibition of visual arts (photography and sound sculpture) where the works of the traditional pottery dialogue with the images, maps, records and research carried out by the proponent. 3) To make it possible the exhibition in two different places in the city of Natal, the  Câmara Cascudo Museum / UFRN ( Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte) and also in the surroundings of the public sculpture Casa Mãe Terra. 4) Disseminating the exhibition, records and creative processes together with two other international centers (Portugal and Cape Verde), which also research and create exhibitions with the collaboration of traditional communities of traditional pottery. It is with these two nuclei that the proponent aims to develop his project of Post Doctoral. This purpose will create a significant linkage to the cultural encounter between the  traditions of Africa, Portugal and Brazil. 5) Encourage, support and disseminate the ceramics and knowledge of the Sobrado women in Rio Grande do Norte, the Northeast, Brazil and the World. This incentive will surely expand the network of contacts and customers for the insiders, generating the economic growth of this sector. All the pieces that will be part of the exhibition will be on sale, encouraging the commerce. 6) Enable through this project a result that demonstrates to the general public how the traditional knowledge and practices can dialogue directly with the academic knowledge and actions of contemporary art.

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