festival do castanho 2012 | festival of brown 2012



The second of the 2 FESTIVALS this year happened in BRIGHTON, ENGLAND and culminated in a public performance and exhibition on Sunday 23rd of September. The whole festival was based at the Coach House, a small, discreet and secluded venue in Brighton’s Kemp Town and quite the brownest room short of the Old Bailey. The Festival’s initial meeting on Monday 17th of September attracted 19 participants and involved a lively, interesting and wide-ranging discussion about brown and its many connotations, shades, moods and aspects. Various ideas were proposed and some of them were even brought to fruition in the week ahead. The whole event was marked by a friendly and co-operative atmosphere and a great willingness to honour this most downtrodden of colours. At the final event: There were readings by Tim Wood, Annie Kerr, Sabine Schroepel and Peter Pick. Peter read the poem ‘things to say about brown’ (as usual). Annie read ‘the inventor’ and a piece naming many of the terms used by the manufacturers of paint to avoid saying brown. Sabine Schroepel read a short story of her own invention. Tim read some brown fragments and a piece about a car crash. There were performances by VV, Sabine Portela and Carolina Diaz. VV’s piece was called ‘her outdoors’ and included film, installation and live performance, a carpet covered in earth and eggs and a soundtrack with music by the vitamin b12, narration by Mark Anthony Whiteford and the participation of Ines Blasco-Petty. Carolina Diaz danced shadows with Annie Kerr’s reinterpretation of Bach. Sabine Portela performed ‘fragments’ with projected light and her narration was read by Peter Pick. There was a therapeutic or confessional interlude in which Sara Jane Glendinning and Nick Sebley spoke of unrequited love and stirred up contributions about mourning and loss from the floor. There was a theatrical piece or sketch in which Michael Gale interviewed Nick Sebley and Sabine Schroepel about the ‘Brown Movement’ and its political aims. It seems that the intention of the movement is to compost or mulch Canary Wharf and seed the remains with marigolds imported from ‘Czechoslovakia’ on donkeys. There was music from the choir of rolls, Annie Kerr and meshmass. The choir of rolls featured Emily, Lola, Peter, Richard and Melanie, and Nigel played the marimba. Annie Kerr played an improvisation based on one of Bach’s partitas for violin. meshmass played and were augmented for the occasion by Tim Wood (tenor saxophone), Annie Kerr (violin) and Nigel French (percussion). Everybody did remarkably well considering that nobody had the slightest idea what they were doing. There was brown art on display from Carolina Diaz, Tim Wood, Alanna, Peter Pick, Michael Gale and Nick Sebley. There were photographs by Nigel French and there was a slideshow of brown photographs. This was only the culmination of a week’s collaborative effort including all these people some of the time and some of these people all of the time. Our grateful thanks to all participants and especially to those who made delicious food and cakes.

A Carolina, a Georgina, o Sebastião, a Rafaela, a Joana, o Nelson, a Susana, a Pietrina, o Soares, o Carlos, o João, o Peré, a Ana, o Duarte, o Victor, o Ângelo, a Joaninha, a Maria João, o Tomás, a Mescla, o Pedro e a Gabriela, o Zé e a Maria animaram o Festival do Castanho com muita emoção e entusiasmo, na aldeia de Paradela do Rio.
A nossa arte integrou-se nos telhados dos tanques, na fonte, na varanda, na eira, no forno do povo, na horta, nas paredes, no lameiro, na casa do correio, nos muros, na caixa do correio, nos postes e nas escadas. Fica a sensação de que passou pela aldeia uma grande lufada de cor, de formas, de magia e de companhia. Fizemos muito em pouco tempo!

Tornamos a aldeia mais curiosa e divertida. Sentimo-nos muito felizes porque criamos esta manifestação de arte coletiva de uma forma muito harmoniosa, empenhada, humilde, e com uma excelente colaboração entre todos. Fluiu muito bem! Foi muito bom!

Bem hajam "todos nós", por mais uma vez saímos do Festival do Castanho satisfeitos!

Forte abraço,
Maria e Zé
O Grupo do Castanho


festival of brown 2012 | festival do castanho 2012

this year the festival of brown will happen in two different places. after three succesful years in portugal we are expanding and holding one event in paradela, portugal and one in brighton, england.
from the 17th to the 23rd of september we will gather a group of artists at the coach house, kemptown, brighton in order to create and stage an exhibition/performance the form and style of which will be entirely dependent on the participants. we hope that many of our old friends will join us and we welcome new artists in our continuing celebration of the colour brown.

participants in the festival will not have to pay anything, it will be free. food may be provided.

on the 17th, 19th, 20th, and 21st of september from 6:00pm onwards we will meet at the coach house, a lovely room hidden inside the block of houses on walpole road, brighton and plan our event. we have few preconceptions about the event and we welcome artists in all media to join collectively in its creation, production and realisation. all we know is that it will be open to the public, will take place on sunday the 23rd of september and will celebrate the colour brown.

this is a great opportunity for artists to collaborate in an open, collective project. so often art is pursued alone, but we seek to hunt it in a pack judging that we may have more or different success by this means. we already have expressions of interest from dancers, musicians, writers, videographers, painters and photographers. we hope that you will come too and join this unique and exciting project.
all expressions of interest please to email:


Este ano o grupo do castanho decidiu que o 4º festival do castanho irá realizar-se em dois universos diferentes em Paradela - Montalegre e em Brighton - Inglaterra.
O 4º Festival do Castanho, a decorrer entre os dias 1 e 8 de Setembro de 2012, em Paradela do Rio, concelho de Montalegre, com o tema, "AS PERSONAGENS DO CASTANHO".

Será a oportunidade de participarmos num projecto de arte aberto e colectivo.
Pretende-se inventar as personagens do castanho, através das várias expressões artísticas, cujas obras a desenvolver serão realizadas de forma coletiva e deverão ser concebidas para ficarem expostas em espaço público na aldeia de Paradela do Rio.

contato: festivalofbrown@gmail.com.


The Grupo do Castanho – your humble committee – was invited to San Sperate on the island of Sardinia, a small town almost covered in murals. We stayed for 3 weeks and enjoyed extraordinary hospitality from the kind and generous people of the arts group ‘Noarte’.
If we thought we understood about food after the 3rd festival in Montalegre we were wrong – we rarely stopped eating in Sardinia and then only when our arms no longer reached the table due to the expansion of our stomachs. Despite this continuous feasting we worked long, diligently and hard to produce something almost invisible. Our work is eminently brown in every way and we are proud, happy, fat and exhausted. Our sincere thanks to the people of San Sperate for their friendship and patience.

Na sequência do projecto europeu "GIVE" pensado pelo Ecomuseu em Montalegre e Noarte em San Sperate, Sardenha, tivemos o privilégio de ser convidados pelo Ecomuseu, para experienciar, viver, usufruir e criar algo naquela terra, durante 21 dias. Surge o nosso Mural, na Rua Santa Prisca que alinha naquela maravilhosa galeria de rua.


Il muro tradizionale fatto in mattoni di “terra cruda”, muro caratteristico di San Sperate, racchiude in se stesso la propria narrativa. E' un muro costituito di terra raccolta nell'area circostante, contiene anche pietre, vegetazione e frammenti di ceramica (tegole). Nonostante sia morbido, resiste nel tempo, la sua superficie è piena di interesse, scultoreo e con svariate tessiture.
Questa vecchia intrigante struttura è arte in sé. Una superficie cosi affascinate merita un maggiore apprezzamento dal publico. Oscurarla con un qualsiasi tipo di rappresentazione pittorica o intervento sarebbe non solo superfluo ma anche distruttivo. Il nostro lavoro qui sarà perciò invisibile.
Il nostro contributo in questo laboratorio continuo di San Sperate ha il significato di trattenere e onorare le caratteristiche estetiche della regione. Speriamo soprattutto che questo intervento aiuti nella preservazione mettendo in evidenza il muro in se: un oggetto, una struttura e una superficie intrinseca di fascino, dignità e bellezza.


The traditional mud-brick “Terra Cruda” wall characteristic of San Sperate embodies its own narrative. Composed of the soil of the area it also contains stones, strands of vegetation and fragments of ceramic roof-tile and pottery. While soft it is durable, its surface is full of interest, sculptural and of varied texture.
This ancient and intriguing structure is art in and of itself. Such a fascinating surface deserves greater public appreciation. It would not only be superfluous but also destructive to obscure it with any painted representation purporting to be art.
Our work here will be invisible. Our contribution to the ongoing project of mural-painting in San Sperate is a means of retaining and honouring the original aesthetic characteristics of the region. We hope above all that this intervention will assist in preserving and presenting the wall as itself: an object, structure and surface of intrinsic charm, dignity and beauty.


A parede tradicional em tijolos de terra “terra cruda”característica em San Sperate incorpora em si a sua própria narrativa. Composta de terra da região, ela também contém pedras, vestigios de vegetação e fragmentos de cerâmica (telhas e olaria). Enquanto macio é duradouro, a sua superfície está plena de interesse, é escultural e com texturas variadas.
A sua estrutura antiga e intrigante é arte em si. Tal superfície fascinante merece uma maior apreciação do público. Não seria somente supérfluo mas também destrutivo obscurece-lo com qualquer representação pintada pretendendo ser arte.
O nosso trabalho aqui será invisível. A nossa contribuição no projeto de Murais em San Sperate é no sentido de reter e honrar as características estéticas originais da região. Esperamos que acima de tudo esta intervenção ajude na preservação e a revelar a parede em si: um objeto, uma estrutura e uma superficie intrínseca de charme, dignidade e beleza.

                                                                                      - GRUPO DO CASTANHO 2012 -
 Maria Carvalho Rita Miranda Peter Pick Sabine Portela Zé Teixeira