The carob factory that now produces “senses” (with photos)

An abandoned carob processing factory in Faro, is today a “Factory of Senses”. The idea of ​​[…]

An abandoned carob processing factory in Faro, is today a “Factory of Senses”. The idea of ​​creating a place where artists could meet, show and sell their art was already in Mató's mind – the main driving force behind the project – since he was 15 years old. He traveled the world, returned to the Algarve, and inspired by the success stories of projects of this kind, where he participated abroad, he moved towards the creation of this space, at the back of the Escola Superior de Saúde, on the other side of the train line.

«In my mind, this is a project that made sense for many years to fill a need that existed here. There are already other similar projects in the country, although few. This is a cooperative project, inspired by the cooperative movements that emerged in Europe from May 68 onwards. In Portugal, they also appeared after the 25th of April, but more at the level of agriculture, not at the artistic level», explained Mató, in Impressões da RUA FM program, in partnership with the Sul Informação.

In addition to the artists gaining a space to show and market their work, there are other advantages that come from sharing a common space and joint projects have already started to emerge. “Sometimes artists have the fault of developing their creative process on an individual basis. So far, things have worked on the basis of “every man for himself”, but we wanted to counteract this dynamic. The interconnection between works by artists can lead to new forms of expression, something that has already started to happen at Fábrica dos Sentidos. The potter was the other day developing a job with belts with the seamstress and hairdresser, who will work with natural products that currently only exist in Sweden and have to be imported, he started talking to the person who makes natural products and they have already started to speculate if they could create these products here, even for export», said Mató.

Therefore, Fábrica dos Sentidos can be, for Mató, a nest of artistic companies. «The way we see the Factory is always from the perspective of people fighting for a place in the market, with original product offers. The idea is that they manage to become international brands and that space starts to be too small for them».

Altogether, there are 4500 square meters of covered area, each artist with 15 square meters to develop their work, but Fábrica dos Sentidos is in the development phase and there are potentialities of the place that will be developed over time. «There is an open area of ​​1800 square meters that we are going to re-qualify, then there is a common area with the other factories, which allows for any event or to assemble any structure, which has 15 thousand square meters».

Fábrica dos Sentidos will also have studios, dance rooms, rehearsal rooms and the company of contemporary circus artists Armazém 13 will have a training school for aerial numbers there.

Everything in terms of space was thought out in detail, after a first possibility that failed in Albufeira. «The space seemed interesting to us. We almost stayed in Albufeira at the old water park in front of the Hotel Montechoro, we even got a contract. However, we were asked to install for electricity 60 thousand euros to pass 30 meters of cable. We counter-proposed, but ended up giving up the space due to costs and, as a strategy, we rethought the project. We thought of the place with the largest number of fixed resident population, which is Faro, with Tavira, Loulé, Olhão or Quarteira, all very close. Furthermore, it is the area where there is the largest community of foreigners in the Algarve», he explained.

The reason why he thought of foreigners when implementing the project was readily explained by Mató: «Foreigners are people, from the start, with greater know-how in terms of culture and, from the start, more interested in what we do. It is an active and organized community, they have a great dynamic that we, when we thought about it, took into account».

The booster of Fábrica dos Sentidos also highlights the benefits that the project can bring to that area of ​​the city of Faro. “We are located in the city center, but in an area that has been neglected. In any city where there is water, we have to face the sea. The City Council wants to upgrade the area and we are also doing it, in a new credible offer for the city».

To have a space at Fábrica dos Sentidos, according to Mató, all you have to do is go there, talk to us, get to know the place, choose the area where you want to settle. The only limitation we have is the principle that there is no direct competition between the artists who are installed there. As long as they are different things from what already exists…».

The value of the rent is “symbolic”: 75 euros, with water and electricity included.



See the photos here: