HNL promotes environmental awareness through the arts

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 - 12:38

The Human Neurobehavioral Laboratory (HNL) organized an artistic expression workshop, to raise awareness about sustainability among students at the Universidade Católica in Porto. In the initiative, the students created art using textile waste.

FEP promove consciência ambiental através das Artes - interior

Named SUSTARTE: Artistic Expression Workshop "Weaving Environmental Awareness", the initiative offered students at UCP, in Porto the opportunity to give new life to leftover textile fabrics.

"Our challenge was demonstrating that nothing is simply disposable or easily replaceable. For us, the philosophy of not discarding without reusing in some way that creates value goes beyond a mere commitment. It's a true celebration of the essence of textiles," explains Patrícia Oliveira-Silva. She is the director of the HNL, member of the FEP board, of the be@t - Bioeconomy at Textiles project, and coordinator of the workshop's organising committee, which aimed to promote the creativity and environmental awareness of UCP students simultaneously.

Bags, necklaces, backpacks and decoration pieces that came to life

Through the hands of students, the remains of textile fabrics took on a new form. Among the various works carried out were works of art, bags, necklaces, backpacks and decorative pieces.

According to Flávia Fernandes, from UNIFESP (Brazil), and one of the participants in the initiative, "the workshop not only aimed to create artistic interventions but also to weave narratives of environmental awareness. In the hands of the participants, the fabrics became tools of inspiration, the scissors became questions, and each sewn line was a step towards awareness and social and ecological transformation."

Patrícia Oliveira-Silva adds that her favourite part of the workshop "was the opportunity to explore how each piece of fabric, whether new or used, carries its history and undiscovered potential. I'm fascinated by how fabrics can evoke memories and create a deep connection with the brain, as well as stimulate our senses. The texture, the colour, the sound of a fabric being handled, and the sensation it causes - all these can evoke comfort and security. It's fascinating to observe this sensory and emotional interaction with textile materials."

Additionally, Cristina Sá, researcher at the Research Center For Science And Technology Of The Arts (CITAR), at Católica, in Porto, highlights the role of the participants. “They were incredible: they trusted, got involved and worked on a form of expression with which they were unfamiliar. This willingness to experiment was an inspiration to me.”

The work done at the workshop, which took place on November 30th, will be on display on December 5th, 2023 in the hall of the Carvalho Guerra Amphitheatre, between 10:00 am and 5:30 pm.

It will be an opportunity to analyse the UCP students' artistic interpretations of their work and to reflect on the intersection between art, psychology, and sustainability.

The workshop was designed as part of the Beat - Bioeconomy at Textiles project and is part of the cycle of events to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), organised throughout 2023 by the Universidade Católica Portuguesa.