A home animal.
Following a rewarding period of studying Political Sciences in Lisbon and working in Military Operations in Brussels, artist Joana De Oliveira Guerreiro moved into a converted manufacturing facility to the north of Liverpool’s City Centre to pursue her artistic practice. Within a mezzanine floor precariously supported by a scaffolding staircase, she lives upstairs and develops her double-edged animations, ceramics and paintings downstairs, where the bricked walls are populated by decorative re-makes of renown artist Pablo Picasso. She is committed to a simple and organised space to live and work, as “mess is a waste of time when I need to look for things”, she tells me. Guerreiro doesn’t even store materials to avoid any clutter and therefore sets herself precise boundaries on what is available for her to use. Dedicated to a no-waste production method, most of the items that inhabit the unit, and subsequently her works, are either sourced from local factories or taken from the street, particularly cotton offcuts, industrial paints and wooden panels. Though mechanical in its foundations, both floors are imbued with her vibrant energy. An artisan quilted patchwork bed throw provides that vital burst of colour, whilst in her living room, a rainbow hammock invites bohemian relaxation. In advance of a third lockdown, I toured the residence and workspace with the artist and her loyal studio manager, her dog Miga. Before my arrival, they played fetch for half an hour, so she was ready for action while her pup was happily tired. Without her furry companion, the artist wouldn’t have began constructing her newest clay sculptures, which are made with a base of dog bones, expanding foam and silicon sealants… although as long as there’s water, there’s always a way for Guerreiro to create something!