Above all else, Beatriz
Manteigas is a painter, but she is also a researcher, and has done some
illustration work, although she refuses to be referred to as an illustrator. At
the moment, her relationship with the illustration is one of admiration, which
is reflected in her dedication to coordinating the international illustration
meeting ‘YETI - Youth Education Through Illustration’, an initiative of the
association that she runs and of which, together with her companion, she is the
founder – the Associação Quinta das Relvas - Artes e Sustentabilidade (Quinta
das Relvas Association - Arts and Sustainability).
She believes that a good painter should also be a researcher: «Continuous study and research are necessary for our growth, and I struggle on a daily basis against revenue and comfort zones». As a PhD student in Fine Arts (specialising in Drawing), she is a researcher and is part of CIEBA - Centro de Investigação e Estudos em Belas-Artes (Centre for Research and Studies in Fine Arts) at the University of Lisbon.
«The award lies in the constant pursuit of a clear utopia»
Asked about her sources of inspiration, she says: «it’s not that I have epiphanies when looking at minor compositional coincidences during a train trip […]. I do this exercise, of course, but by self-imposition». Her references end up influencing her work methodology and visual culture, but Beatriz «[has learned] to select information and respect the work itself, giving due importance to criticism and observations […]». And she adds: «I am gradually learning to paint again, above all for the joy it gives me, and I believe that in this release I will find the best results. When we feel this liberation in the act of creating, a very particular adrenaline is generated that is perhaps the only answer in Art». Her last series of works, Liquid Societies, which, like I want to go home, finds its inspiration in the subject of refugees, «is not based on the problems of Contemporary Art, but ends up touching on them – the ‘liquidity’ of Art and Culture, of our values and the values of society. [Her] feeling for creation, which [she thinks] is common to many authors, is also liquid – a bipolarity between inspiration and restlessness». Moreover, the work concerning refugees, to which her knowledge in Artistic Anatomy, the subject of her master’s degree, also contributed, «is an overflowing source of inspiration on many levels and [she feels] that it only just begun». Indeed, work in series is part of her methodology and «each series is a step of a complex staircase and it is common in [her] career to go up some stairs, down and up again on the next staircase. And turn back». This is one of the reasons why there is a guiding thread in her work: «there is a basis that we should accept as being inherent in our existence. A tangle of threads».
With regard to the awards she has already received, she stresses that training is more important than any award: «an award doesn’t bring me knowledge, it brings me recognition». And she finishes with: «the award lies in the constant pursuit of a clear utopia». From the future she hopes for financial security from her art work. If she considers this yearning to be far off, she thinks it is even less likely not to have to identify herself at openings, although she has been at many, seeing as she has exhibited frequently in Portugal and abroad. You see, she does not like inaugurations. But she likes to create, to paint; a restless and free way of life.