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Experimental Communication

Carmo Pinheiro de Melo

I am a multidisciplinary artist. I work closely with different mediums, exploring their ‘manuality’, their texture, and combining them to create something new. This knowledge of multiple mediums gives me a unique perspective on how I approach my work and the projects in which I’m involved.

As a creative and a communicator, I explore feminism and materiality, topics that I came to develop while completing my Masters. Working with materials is vital for any piece that I create, exploring the relationship between people and the physicality of art and destabilising the public’s understanding of it. I do this while always taking my personal view as a starting point of each argument.

The way I work conveys a lot from my experiences and takes on life. I gather a lot of influence from my photography background, which impacts how I frame my work. I wouldn’t say I’m a photographer, a painter, a designer or a fine artist. I communicate through making and as a creative, this gives me the freedom to develop my own ‘title’. 

Parlapiê is going live! During the TERMINAL show event, the roundtable is hosting my podcast series, Parlapiê, to discuss the art of quilt making with local artist Peony Gent and guest tutor Laura Gordon. Listen to the live conversation on Sunday the 27th at 14:00h!

The knowledge that something is 'crafty' or 'done-by-hand' comes with a lower value – that of the hobby rather than art. Not deemed to be evaluated as something more than that. 

In a time where we find ourselves taking refuge in more homely comforts, I found myself with the thought that the quilt I was producing would never be considered as something recognisable by ‘society’ as a piece of art. That these trades would be forever stuck on the top of our beds as decoration or simply as objects that serve their purpose by providing us with warmth. The question here is why? And where do these works live?

Layout with Clapham 01, 02, 03 and Frame
Tapestry detail 01
Tapestry detail 02

In my practice I reclaim the ancestral arts and techniques from a modern position. Pieces made by women that are generally associated with the domestic environment. Why is textiles often seen as a hobby, while woodwork is seen as professional practice?

So, it’s not crafts in general that are undervalued but specifically crafts made by women. There have been movements before that brought the crafts to light, like the Arts and Crafts movement and the Bauhaus, but they all failed to acknowledge crafts made by women within their settings. Nor for that matter, Portuguese craft.

I want to give it the value that it deserves. I want to give the craftswomen and generations of people that make a living from these trades the recognition they deserve. I've known plenty of male artisans in my life, but not enough female ones. My work takes a feminist perspective on cultural craft traditions and women’s roles in the art world.

Yes to hand-made and Yes to history-crafted.

Throughout my practice I use symbols that represent the relationship between women and craft, creating a history of meanings within the tapestry. I weave together traditionally feminine elements like the flowers and curved lines, while exploring and respecting the historical similarities with Arabic designs of the cornucopias; the elements and colours of Portuguese tiles; and keeping the layout of the traditional 'Arraiolos'.

Medium:

Photography and Latch Hook Tapestry
Frame in Clapham 01
Frame in Clapham 02
Frame in Clapham 03
Frame in Clapham 04

The grandmothers of our time are the ones who hold and store these craft histories and works of art in their small living rooms. By making the craft into a frame I'm using it as a method of communication. I'm using it to bring attention to what's inside; thus, valuing both the frame and its contents in the process. By re-evaluating the position of craft and where it stands, I'm bringing to light important topics that connect with the devaluation of women in society more broadly. Topics like violence against women.

The subject matter I selected to be the 'King', in this case, was the murder of Sarah Everard and the painful and necessary discourse it raised around violence against women and sexual harassment. These images were taken in the aftermath of the vigil in Clapham Common. They show a strong and quiet scene that tells the story of this woman, and many women. Intense yet very respectful during the day, this sits at odds with the violent reaction of the police to vigil attendees later that evening. I wanted to give the scene the feeling of a still life painting that delivers a punch of meaning.

Medium:

Photographs and Latch Hook Tapestry
A Station for the creative hub
Quarantined Recording Booths
A Collaborative Satelite

We are Dougal Verinder Gedge, Carmo Pinheiro de Melo and Louise Gholam. Together we set up RCA VisCom’s radio station Export Radio.


WHO?

Our station is Internet-based and led by Experimental Communication (School of Communication) students at the Royal College of Art of London. We curate weekly showcases of music, conversation and interview, collected from both RCA students and further afield. This sonic satellite is an opportunity to re-invigorate the public through worldwide collaboration and discussion, whilst also building bridges in a post-Brexit, mid-Covid-19 environment.


We curate weekly showcases of music, conversation and interview, collected from both RCA students and further afield. Intertwined within the Art/sound scene of today, Export aims to observe experimentation through an International lens.


WHAT?

Used as a knowledge-sharing and collaborative platform, Export Radio offers a parallel space for students to reflect on WHAT they are learning about, but especially HOW they are taught at the RCA. In the context of the Work in Progress show, students felt the need to find a more humane and interactive way to share their work, their concerns regarding the institution they are studying in but also their professionalization. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT, once we leave the RCA?

Following this thought, the team at Export Radio has put together 3 breakfast sessions which will feature performances, roundtables, Q&As… It will offer students another format for visibility, getting their voices heard within and outside the ‘walls’ of the RCA.

These sessions will be run during the satellite event for Visual Communication at the Ugly Duck!  XXX


Both events will be hosted on Export Radio’s website : www.exportradio.club

For more information and updates you can contact us on instagram: @exportradio or via email: exportradiosubmissions@gmail.com


VISUALS BY: Louise Gholam

CURATION OF THE SHOW BY: Carmo Pinheiro de Melo


Medium:

Collaborative Radio Platform

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Sonic Yearbook Banner
Sonic Yearbook cover mockup

Following the success of our RCA2021 WiP Show events, we are preparing a Sonic Yearbook

The platform aims to be shared as a legacy project for the Visual Communication cohort at the RCA thanks to this communal publication. 💿💿💿

This collectible includes a collection of CD’s containing auditory work, accompanied by a booklet showcasing students' artifacts documenting their ‘graduation environments’.


HOW?

Following this thought, the team at Export has put together a 3 Breakfast Sessions which will feature performances, roundtables, Q&As… It will offer students another format for visibility, getting their voices heard within and outside the ‘walls’ of the RCA. To close-up the Final show week, Export is organising an AFTERPARTY open to all! 

During this time we will be recording our Sonic Yearbook! Due to be finished in July! Sign up for your copy on our Kickstarter! http://kck.st/3yAUBoG


We’re looking forward to ‘hear’ from you and meet you on our audio-visual waves!

Tune in soon!


Both events will be hosted on Export Radio’s website : www.exportradio.club

For more information and updates you can contact us on instagram: @exportradio or via email: exportradiosubmissions@gmail.com


VISUALS BY: Dougal Verinder Gedge 



Medium:

Collaborative Radio Platform

Read more