A house for Daphne
ALBERTO CAMPO BAEZA
A house around a tree, by the Portuguese artist Carlos Nogueira.
Parque de Santo Tirso, Portugal
Carlos Nogueira, one of the most renowned contemporary artists from Portugal, has done it again. Once again he has played at being an architect.
Bernini, in order to translate the myth of Apollo and Daphne, created a marvellous sculpture of Daphne as she flees from the pursuing Apollo, in which her arms and legs are already being transformed into branches, had already turned into a tree.
Nogueira has gone one step further, because here Daphne has fully metamorphosed into a tree and Apollo has become a house, an entire white box in whose enclosure Daphne has been captured forever. Stunningly beautiful.
If Bernini was a masterful architect, who was also a superb sculptor, Nogueira is a marvellous sculptor who is also magnificent as an architect.
You are all familiar with the myth of Apollo and Daphne. Garcilaso de la Vega offers us a marvellous rendering in his sonnet number XIII:
Daphne’s arms had already begun to grow
and were displaying long entwined branches;
I saw how into green leaves had turned
her hair of darkened gold.
Rough bark was covering
those tender limbs, still seething with life:
those white feet sinking into the earth,
and becoming twisted roots.
He who was the cause of such mishap,
through his weeping encouraged
that tree to grow, watered with his tears.
Oh miserable state! Oh sad misfortune!
That those very tears should make grow each day
the very cause and reason for such lament!
When you go to see that marvellous white house by Carlos Nogueira in the Santo Tirso Sculpture Park, make sure to look inside and you will see for yourselves how within that white box the tears shed by Apollo continue to feed the growth of that beautiful tree into which Daphne has been transformed.
translation PENÉLOPE AEDES