Leitura: 4 min
Forest waste. It is this refined name that ironically defines designer Hugo Franças favorite raw material. Since the late 1980s, he has transformed wood discarded by traditional furniture companies or just naturally condemned into benches, chairs, tables, cupboards, shelves and adornments, referred to as movable sculptures. Among the 1,000 pieces produced so far, 98 are at Inhotim, where you can find the largest collection of works by the designer.
It is impossible to walk through the park without noticing these amazing structures with sustainable appeal. Rustic, yet very cozy, they invite visitors to take a break, either to rest, contemplate nature or reflect on any of 170 works of art on display. Long-time partner, Hugo França installed his first work in the garden in the 1990s, even before the the Institute was fouded in 2006. Under the shadow of the Tamboril, ancient tree that is now one of the symbols of the park, he placed a huge bench, recently replaced by a larger one, also by the designer.
The story of Hugo França with wood pieces begins almost three decades ago. Eager for a new lifestyle, he moved to Trancoso/Bahia, where he lived for 15 years. There he discovered the Pequi-Vinagreiro, common tree in the Atlantic Forest in Bahia, but hardly useful in the usual woodworking for being very irregular. He began to avail unearthed roots, hollow logs, branches and whatever else he found to create unique pieces that value the natural textures and shapes of these plants otherwise rejected.
Rustic, yet very cozy, the benches invite visitors to take a break l Photo: Rossana Magri
Not without reason, the first cuts are made where the wood is found. Some blocks may weigh over a ton and need to be divided for transportation. Still in the woods, the pieces begin to look like benches and tables and are finished in one of Hugo Franças workshops. From there, his sculptures are sent all over the world.
Besides being part of private collections such as Inhotims, his work has been featured in a long list of institutions such as the MAD Museum in New York, the Tomie Ohtake Institute in São Paulo, the Art Rio in Rio de Janeiro and currently the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, a botanical garden located in Miami, United States. Until May 2014, visitors will see 25 movable sculptures of the artist, whosesensitive eye is capable of bringing life back to nature.
Recently, Crane TV made a video about Hugo Franças’s work. Check it Out: