This campaign aims to raise funds to publish a photobook of the patterned tiles in Lisbon. It is a compilation of images of tiles that can be found on the facades of buildings throughout the capital.
I came to Lisbon over a decade ago for 'love'. The pleasant climate and exceptional light captivated me. In my wanderings around the city I discovered countless small, hidden streets with building walls covered in art. I also became enamoured with the beauty of the tiles. These squared, enameled ceramics that reflect the sunlight and give the city a unique charm that colours the urban landscape.
It was on these walks that I started my collection of tile photographs, both as individual designs or grouped together to form a pattern. As close ups as well as contextualised in their surroundings. Weathered on abandoned buildings or completely missing after having been stolen. The different aesthetics in which this glazed square has evolved.
With the ample amount of motifs and designs that can be found throughout the Portuguese territory, I decided to limit the selection of photos to Lisbon in the era following the 1755 earthquake.
The book's size will be slightly larger than a real tile, at 16.5x16.5 cm, with more than 250 images in 160 pages.
Brief history of the Tiles
In Portugal, the love of tiles was introduced by the Muslims who brought them to the country over 500 years ago. In the 16th century, Portugal began its own production, suffering various influences of the Italian and Flemish tiles, and later in the 17th century, the Dutch. This specific form of decoration was used extensively in the coating of bourgeois buildings, nobility and clergy.
After the 1755 earthquake, a new use for the tile was implemented as an exterior coating of reconstructed buildings. Its decorative purpose on buildings became inseparable from the daily, cultural and urban life of the inhabitants of the Portugese territory, transcending borders until they could be found on many buildings in the former colonies and to an unknown extent in other countries around the world. From Churches and Palaces, to the streets of any city or down below in the underground stations.
Today, it is one of the main cultural symbols of Portuguese identity.