Digging, sifting, pruning in Portugal

We have been busy helping inside and out in Vila Colina, Portugal

While a lot of the work we did with Vila Colina was mural and painting based, we also did a fair bit outside to help! One of the first jobs I was pointed towards was pruning yuccas. Pruning yuccas is a bit tricky and a big job, mostly because their leaves are serrated, and have these little fibres that get under your skin and irritate. There were forty or fifty around the place. I did maybe half a dozen every day, and at the end I left having done all the trimming their leaves will need for spring and summer! I left Vila Colina chuffed to have helped and knowing more about how to propagate and care for this particular plant.

Below you can see me sweating it out in my protective boiler suit under the deliciously warming Portuguese winter sun (usually around 20°C).

Trimming yuccas promoting new vegetation spring

While I also did a bit of laundry and miscellaneous cleaning, I didn’t take any photos of my totally glamourous toilet scrubbing duties, sorry guys!

We also helped shift a lot of dirt to make room for a new pool. That was heavy, hard work. Lots of wheel barrowing, bruises, lifting with my legs, sweating and cussing out how heavy dirt is. The best part of this job was knocking off for the day and drinking some freshly squeezed mandarine juice while chilling out on the verandah. Although… I did have some hard abs for a little while after that, so if you are into abs, I would recommend wheel barrowing tons of dirt for hours a day, for sure.

After the dirt was taken out of the pool-hole, a layer of dirt without big stones was needed on the bottom of the pit. Jim and our other host, Richard, knocked up a sieve using sawhorses and an old camping bed, and we spent another day sieving and shovelling to create that layer.

Helpers workaway sunshine Portugal shovelling earth

Helpers Robert, Jim and Richard, our host

Hard work and still, good times!

About kellymarietheartist

I am an artist who, up until recently, was living and exhibiting within Toowoomba and the greater Granite Belt district. I have since packed up and left Australia, and am currently living and working in England. My work engages the craft involved in handmaking within a contemporary art context. I am drawn to the physicality of repetitive textile processes, and this is transcribed though the tactile quality of my forms. In particular, processes such as crochet, sewing and rug making serve as a proxy for growth within my personal environment. Many of my works imitate situations in nature, and they form organically as I create each individual piece, each addition both a continuation and re-enforcement of its predecessors. I enjoy using recycled materials for many of my works. Using crochet and other textile techniques to do this is an important part of my work as it celebrates a tradition of craft that has historically been relegated to 'women's work', with all the negative connotations that entails.
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