We arrived back in our beloved Algarve late Wednesday, and spent most of Thursday settling into our new apartment, catching up with stall holders in the market and enjoying a very long lunch at our favourite restaurant Vai e Volta. Took us until Friday to explore the town, and just look at what we found.
These fabulous murals take up the whole of Largo and Rua da Fábrica Velha, on the edge of the Bairro do Levante, in Olhão. They are the work of four artists who specialise in urban art – Asur, a Portuguese artist known as dgiphi for commission work, and Pedro “Mistik”, “Gnose” and “Kaset” from The Satori Artistic Association.
The association was set up in 1999 and is Algarvian based – currently located on the Salir bridge. They aim to train, support and give opportunities to unrecognized artists, and clearly are well recognised and well respected in the Algarve since it was the council which commissioned them to undertake this work.
They used old photographs as their source material, and so within a few minutes you quickly get a feel for what life was once like here. Apparently a few locals visited the artists during the gallery creation to point out that it was them or a parent they were painting.
But they haven’t just brought Olhão’s past to life, they have also turned what were once dilapidated buildings into a fabulous street gallery.
There are three different styles as the artists worked on their own walls. I liked them all and together they create something quite special. On one side there is the detail of the factory workers, then around the corner there are the back streets of Olhão, and then there is life at and beside the sea.