19 Colours

Urban Interventions — Co-Author
Lisboa, Portugal, 2013

Co-author of the project, GMG and the experimentadesign team were inspired by the legacy of Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and her text “Testamento”.

When Maria Helena Vieira da Silva died in 1992, she left behind a text that she entitled Last Will. In this text, the artist bequeaths to her friends 19 colours and the meaning which she gave them. In celebration of her 105th anniversary, experimentadesign recollects her words through an intervention in the Jardim das Amoreiras, which interlinks these colours and the meanings that Vieria da Silva gave them with photographs of the artist and her husband, Arpad Szenes. The 19 photographs were chosen from a selection of 215 images sent by the Fundação Arpad Szenes / Vieria da Silva and then combined, at random, with the sentences and the colours they refer to.



I leave to my friends
a cerulean blue for flying high
a cobalt blue for happiness
an ultramarine blue for stimulating the spirit
a vermilion for making your blood flow with joy
a moss green for calming your nerves
a golden yellow: abundance
a cobalt violet for reverie
a madder that makes you hear the cello
a barium yellow: science fiction, brilliance, flash
a yellow ochre for accepting the earth
a Veronese green for remembering spring
an indigo to make your spirit accord with the storm
an orange to train your vision of a distant lemon tree
a lemon yellow for grace
a pure white: purity
terra sienna: the transmutation of gold
a sumptuous black for looking at Titian
a raw umber to help you accept black melancholy
a burnt sienna to remind you of duration

Vieira da Silva