Woolfest | Urban art in Covilhã

No doubt that the city of Covilhã is becoming the centre of urban art in the region of Centro de Portugal thanks to the creative action of Wool Fest – Covilhã Art Festival. This Festival honours Covilhã’s glorious past as one of the most important wool-producing cities in Portugal and aims to be a major urban art reference in the country.

Wool Fest organises regular events, filling the walls of the city with colourful paints deeply related to the wool theme. The city of Covilhã will never be the same!

Add Fuel  // PT 
The master of the reinterpretation of Portuguese tiles, Add Fuel has created a mural called “Oddments” made of the typical patterns used in the production of local tissues. This mural is placed behind the City Hall of Covilhã.

ARM Collective // PT
The first Wool Fest project has the signature of ARM Collective: RAM (aka Miguel Caeiro from Sintra) and MAR (Gonçalo Ribeiro from Seixal). These Portuguese artists create huge murals by applying their freestyle graffiti techniques. This one can be seen next to the breathtaking church Igreja de Santa Maria, one of the most beautiful tile-covered churches in Portugal! Modernity and tradition hand-in-hand!

Bordallo II // PT
Along with worldwide acclaimed street artist VHILS, Bordallo II was considered by Street Art News one of the best urban artists in the world. Turning trash into art has become his trademark. In Covilhã, Bordallo II created the artwork called “Owl eyes”, strategically placed at the somehow forgotten historical centre of Covilhã. The owl as the symbol of wisdom and culture conveys the message of fighting against desertification and valuing human resources.

Bosoletti // AR
Born in Argentina, Bosoletti combines a very classicist style with a highly engaged art expression. His works have remarkable earth tones, mastering shadow and light. For WOOL Festival, Bosoletti designed a true masterpiece, praising the restless beauty of women. ” ‘Rapture’ — I am the Woman, I am the Earth. I am the blood that springs from the womb. I am the soul that was raptured, the vital sap of the roots. I am what remains of your seduction, the light reflected in the cave. I am the lamb that carries the lamb, and everything around the pasture is yours.” Text by Giuseppina Ottieri

BTOY (aka Andrea Michaelsson of Barcelona) // ES
is deeply inspired by vintage photographs and has many art creations throughout the city of Covilhã, the most impressive one being the shepherd’s portrayal in Largo da Nossa Senhora do Rosário.

Doa Oa // ES 
The Spanish artist Doa Oa created a very delicate mural inspired by the plants that were traditionally used to dye the tissues in the Royal factory Real Fábrica dos Panos da Covilhã.

Gijs Vanhee // BE 
The Belgian artist has depicted a shepherd of the Mountain Serra da Estrela at the historical centre of Covilhã, next to tile-covered Santa Maria church. A powerful artwork with vibrant colours that pays a beautiful tribute to the main characters of the wool universe: the shepherds.

HalfStudio // PT 
Specialised in lettering, the Portuguese  HalfStudio likes to create powerful messages throughout the cities. Based on a fado sung by the Portuguese all-time fado diva Amália Rodrigues, “Covilhã , cidade-neve”, they have created a very iconic mural of powerful colours with verses of this beautiful fado. A dazzling homage to the wool producing industry and tradition in Covilhã.

Inside Out Project  // FR
has the signature of the French artist JR. This project consists of 44 posters from 44 persons who had been linked to the wool industry of Covilhã. Precisely, the aim for integrating the Inside Out Project was being able to discover some of the life story of former workers and entrepreneurs from the Covilhã’s wool factories that, for various reasons, closed over the years. Woolfest wanted to collect some memories of the recent past of the city that seems to have been somewhat forgotten and valued them with this intervention.

KRAM // ES
This giant colourful mural was created by Spanish artist KRAM. Inspired by the local legend of a frightful beast that scared locals when night fell over the city, this EXTRA WOOL project is an impressive work of art that you will find near the iconic tile-covered Santa Maria Church!

Mr. Dheo // PT
In 2011, at the peak of the Portuguese financial crisis, Portuguese graffiti artist Mr. Dheo depicted a young woman sewing a way out of the economic turmoil. Mr. Dheo began as an autodidact at the age of 15 and since then he has been collaborating with prestigious international brands and also working in the streets, the stage of his eye-catching creations.

Pantónio // PT
After watching a short-film on the decay of the textile industry in Covilhã, prestigious Portuguese street artist and muralist, inspired by the movie and the sound of the swifts, the typical birds of Covilhã, created an absolutely moving mural.

Regg Salgado // PT
This Portuguese street artist and illustrator, based in Lisbon, created an amazing mural called “Leading thread”, beautifully placed at the iconic viewpoint Portas do Sol at the heart of Covilhã. This mural was conceived during the national meeting of Design Students.

Samina // PT
Sr. Viseu is a true character of the city of Covilhã who used to work in the wool factories of Covilhã and played in the charismatic local football club Sporting Clube da Covilhã. Samina depicted the face of Sr. Viseu, a true symbol of the city and a beautiful homage to many generations of workers who dedicated their lives to the wool industry. Sr. Viseu was not aware of this tribute and was absolutely delighted when he saw this amazing artwork signed by gifted Samina.

Tamara Alves // PT
The artwork of Portuguese artist Tamara Alves  named after an Allen Ginsberg song called “Wild Orphan” depicts a woman weaving her own dress in bobbin lace, an art that is slowly dying in Covilhã. “Don’t let it become a myth”. This enchantingly feminine creation is both a tribute to an art in decay and a cry for rebirth.

Third // PT
The Portuguese artist Third  has depicted a three-dimensional heart out of the weaving machines that were definitely the core of the wool industry in Covilhã. The artist fell in love with these machines and created a true ode to the engine of this industry that defined the whole identity of the city.

VHILS (aka Alexandre Farto) // PT
This is the project signed by worldwide street artist for Wool Fest, in the street Rua Visconde da Coriscada, in Covilhã. VHILS employs a quite innovative creative method by chipping away the wall and creating beautiful images that can be clearly seen from afar. Absolutely amazing!

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