Interview with Michèle Trotta, one of the artists in residence at CÔA – Corridor of Arts

July 4, 2024

Michèle Trotta was one of the seven winners of the competition for international artists, who were then selected to develop a piece in natural materials in the Greater Côa Valley as part of the CÔA – Corridor of Arts festival. In an interview, she talks about her work and her experience in the region.

How did it feel to take part in the festival with an artistic creation of your own?

Firstly, I felt very welcomed and supported at every stage of my work by the team at the Côa Museum and the festival, particularly Rewilding Portugal in the organization. I also felt in tune with the values defended by Rewilding Portugal in its day-to-day work. It was a great experience in a magnificent, untouched landscape.


Were you satisfied with the way your own art helped engage the local population with rewilding and with the natural and cultural heritage of the Greater Côa Valley?

In Vila Nova de Foz Côa, I tried to create a piece of art that shared the same spirit as the Museum and the Côa Valley and that integrated in a very respectful way with its environment. I used vine branches that refer to the wine produced in the region. As for the curves of the installation, they are reminiscent of the landscape with its rivers and banks. The knots are there to challenge the visitor and can be seen as positive or negative. Positive in the sense that the knots can symbolize strong links or connections and negative because they can also refer to something problematic and closed. It is up to the visitor to decide. As a visual artist, I see my role as showing things that are familiar, but in a different way. By breaking the habits of looking that lead us to stop seeing what is in front of us; we reactivate people’s awareness of their surroundings. I hope that my work will help people take the step towards committing to preserving and rewilding their territory.


How do you think your artwork will naturally evolve in the landscape over the next few years? Was it the perfect place for it to exist?

I think my work is a luxury hotel for insects. I have noticed that the ants, which are present on the hillside where they have created a “megacity”, already have ideas about how they can use it!  The vine shoots will certainly develop over time, under the influence of wind and rain, and the installation will certainly be covered in plants and flowers come spring. In any case, this is undoubtedly the best place we could have installed this work.

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