Dreaming Aloud

The Mentor

Susana Valadas

History . Testimony . Trip . Values . Mentorship

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Interview on the origins of the C—T
History . Testimony . Trip . Values . Mentorship

No results found.

Interview on the origins of the C—T
You can read in the film’s synopsis: “Everything begins with a journey through a portal, a tunnel of trees upon the plains. We arrive at a turf of land, the village of Torrão, is its name — and a convent —its name Our Lady of Grace — a conversation blossoms with Frédéric Custols, the mentor of Convento da Terra. Ideas-seeds, words-horizons.”

In this mini-documentary, we realize what is an ancient dream: to study in a concrete situation, how to move from an economy of goods to an economy of Humans. Confronted with questions — which the director occulted so that the fluidity of an idea may be understood, as well as the pillars of the concept of urbanistic intervention — Frédéric Custols lifts the veil of the essence of the project C—T.

Frédéric Custols is an acknowledged «collector of landscapes». In March of 2022 he crossed Torrão for the first time. A friend who lives in Alentejo had phoned him saying he’d found his dream destination. Arriving from the neighbouring montado, hiking through the center of the town, Coustols encountered at last the monumental naked facade of the Convent of Our Lady of Grace [Convento Nossa Senhora da Graça]. Its highest turret is the living memory of a distant past, paradoxically making it appear closer by the serenity its architecture transmits. The place spoke. Frédéric listened.

Frédéric Custols and Maria Mendonça, his wife, an artist with familiar relations to the place, have collected landscapes in Mato Grosso, in Brasil; in Jiu-Xian in China; in Rostov in Russia; in Firmacon/Castelneau in France and in the Palace of Belmonte in Lisbon — a notable enterprise which gave Local Accommodation an unprecedented dimension: an expression achieved with the luxury of simplicity and the power of art interacting with space (and vice-versa). In all these projects, the passion for nature, the care of the landscape, the judicious application of a constructive ethic and the incorporation of the art’s dimension valuing each place as unique and special and, above all, as an integrated experience of human and social life.

Susana Valadas, also known as Coração de Boi [Bull’s Heart], born in Caldas da Rainha, is certified in Sound and Image by ESAD — Superior School of Arts and Design.

She has been highlighted as an artist, photographer, videographer, performer, cook, mother, and apprentice in the art of making bread. She is an associate and founder of the Association of the Grémio Caldense — Culture and Recreation, where she photographs and video-documents moments of significance in local life, exploring the portrait and self-portrait with a mixture of humor, satire and beauty.