Mesa Baldio —


I hope to progress research on ‘the Commons’ in Brazil, to look into its possible definition and articles of law. In the interim I would like to propose a possible way of advancing this discussion. Could we, similarly to what happened in Scotland in 2012, attempt now in Brazil to collectively produce a meal, a table and its utensils? Could this be done involving artists, museum staff, university lecturers and students, urban farmers, communities, children, carpenters and potters (and whoever else wants to join us)?

Nuno Sacramento, SSW Website

Mesa Baldio, Socially Engaged Artwork. Commissioned by Nuno Sacramento, Scottish Sculpture Workshop. Produced by Nuno Sacramento and Yvonne Billimore, SSW, Lumsden, Breno Platais, Macquinho Pálacio and Luiz Guilherme Vergara, Niterói Contemporary Art Museum.

Collaboration between Macquinho and Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Brazil. Produced and curated by Nuno Sacramento. Housed in Palácio the project worked with marginalised communities towards developing trust with their local art museum.

In 2015 the Makers’ Meal project and its ethos travelled to Brazil to become 'Mesa Baldio'. From 2015- 2016 ‘Mesa Baldio’ worked with various organisations, communities and individuals. A table was designed and made with community activists in Complexo da Mare. Composting boxes were built and installed in Pálacio. Vegetable patches in Pálacio were planted with support from Chicago artist Nance Klehm. My project in support of 'Makers Meal' Niterói was to set out from SSW in Scotland with Yvonne, one of the projects co-producers, to test the health and sustainability of local towns and villages around the workshop by trying to buy forks in Huntly, Inch, Inverurie, Banff, Cullen, Buckie, Lossiemouth, Elgin, Aberlour, Alford, Banchory and Stonehaven. Similar in theory to the old tradition of carrying a canary down a mine in order to survey the quality of air you plan to work in, any town you couldn’t buy a fork in I felt could soon be dead. This cutlery, when found, was bought, photographed, engraved with the name of the town in which it was bought and sent to Brazil. The final meal took place in Niterói in August 2016 and projects involved continue to develop as collectives.