The creative component of the project was possible by enhancing the potential associated with observation drawing, artistic drawing, technical and artistic photos, videos, digital image, art installation, etc., This approach also aimed at inspiring different audiences on the cultural sector, especially considering the exceptional and unique vernacular architecture of World Heritage observed through different eyes, enhanced by art, creativity and new digital realities.
Digital Artist: Henrique Silva, Escola Superior Gallaecia
Photo credits: Photos taken by 3DPAST Researchers during the development of the project.
Mission to Pico, Azores, Portugal: The drama of the relation between Man and Nature
Photos: Damião Matos, Escola Superior Gallaecia
Digital work: Henrique Silva, Escola Superior Gallaecia
The culture of the vineyard is contemporary with the arrival of the first settlers to the island of Pico in the Azores. In the second half of the 15th century, Friar Pedro Gigante, priest of the only Pico community parish (baptized at the time as Santíssima Trindade, today is Vila das Lajes), purchased vines imported from the island of Madeira, according to some, or from the island of Cyprus, according to others.
The corrals, the cellars, the storerooms, the mills, the stills and the accommodations for newsmen who came from afar, especially at the time of the harvest, were built using the lava stone that came out of the pits, made for planting the vine crops. In the natural crevices and cavities of the volcanic floor, enlarged in width or depth at the expense of human labour, with the use of simple utensils, a pit was created where a vine was planted. In the past, some of these holes were even filled with soil from another Azores island: Faial Island.
The duty cycle is precise and almost continuous. In winter, still nowadays, the work focuses on planting, grafting, shaving the ground and pruning the vines. With the arrival of spring, the sprouts thrive and extend over the flagstones. In the summer, with the sun, the bunches of grapes mature. Then comes the harvest and wine production. In parallel with this work in vineyards, which are already in production, today we are witnessing the recovery of these abandoned corrals and the replanting of many vineyards. UNESCO’s recognition of Pico as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape and the access to national funding highly contributes for the revalue of these traditions.
It should be noted that the intervention of Man on the island of Pico, with regard to the production of wine did not altered the natural landscape, as it was more an adjustment of the stone. One could say: “it was stone and stone stayed”.
Text by Damião Matos, Escola Superior Gallaecia