February 28, 2024

Opening in England, Joanna Vasconcelos’ “Bridal Cake” reminds us of “the right to aspire to joy.”

“This is huge! It’s a house! With the inauguration of the piece, the President of the Republic ended his trip to the United Kingdom to celebrate 650 years of friendship with Portugal.

The work is 12 meters high and has the shape that gives it its name. The artist defines it as “between pastry and architecture,” all of which are made of Portuguese porcelain. Marcelo, who cut the opening ribbon hours after attending, in London, the impressive ceremony of the Anglo-Portuguese alliance, climbed two of the four floors of the Polo, not wanting to go higher.

About 25,000 tiles from the Viúva Lamego factory, 1,238 earthenware and 3,500 wrought iron pieces, produced in Portugal, were used in the work. Portuguese and local teams participated in the rally.

Andrew Mathews – PA Photos

visual arts

While the artist explained that the installation took five years to materialize, one of them on the ground, with an epidemic between them, Jacob Rothschild, who commissioned him the garden of the mansion run by his foundation – but it belonged to the British. National Trust since 1957 – celebrated ‘the triumph of genius and perseverance’.

The 4th Baron Rothschild also has two other Portuguese objects on the same property, a wrought iron teapot named “Salon de Thé”, and two giant chandeliers made up of bottles of Château-Lafite wine, titled “Lafite”. “I fell in love with your work,” he said.

Love of Portugal, ceramics and tradition

Joanna Vasconcelos stated “a work done with great love, with unconditional love for Portugal, for its heritage, unconditional love for ceramics and unconditional love for tradition”, and praised the team that supports it. He thanked Rothschild for “dreaming” her, and asserted that “without his charm, confidence, and vision, this would not have been possible.”

At a party in uncharacteristically hot weather, which gathered a few hundred people, was the Portuguese ambassador in London, Nuno Brito; His British counterpart in Lisbon is Chris Sainte. President of the Commemoration of 650 Years of Friendship between Portugal and England, María João Rodríguez de Araujo; the Duke of Wellington, who hours earlier had hosted a reception for Portuguese dignitaries at his family home in London, Apsley House; and the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs.

MNE: “Happiness is the word that defines the day”

João Gómez Cravinho gave the official speech in which he compared the audacity of the “bride cake” to the Pena Palace in Sintra, “misunderstood” when it was built by King Fernando II in the 19th century. “Joy is the word that defines the day,” he said, referring to the happy coincidence of the dates with the anniversary of the friendship treaty.

“A work where the artist is Portuguese, the material is Portuguese, but the context and location are unmistakably British, an excellent combination for celebrating 650 years,” said Cravinho.

‘A vain slice of joy’, ‘a tribute to the Portuguese Baroque’ and ‘unhidden ceremonial jewel’ were expressions used by the head of diplomacy to describe Vasconcelos’ piece to which he ascribes the merit of ‘stitching in porcelain’. He concluded, “Joanna is synonymous with creativity, the unexpected, always breaking down new barriers in artistic expressions.”

Work decoration detail, with tiles from the Viúva Lamego factory

Pedro Cordero

Cravinho noted that Rothschild has been Commander of the Infante D. Henrique Order since 1985 and praised his gesture, which reveals “vision” and “the desire to promote the arts.” Guided tours of “Bride Cake” run from June 18th to October 26th.

At the same time, the minister admitted, such a colorful piece opened on a sunny day raises questions. He asked, “How do we live happiness when there are so many tragedies around us?” , referring to challenges such as the war in Ukraine or climate change. Not long after, the answer was: “Everyone has the right to aspire to happiness!”