Painted doors, Funchal, Madeira
Hmmm… there’s seems to be something a little odd about that door. Actually, you know what, there’s something a bit different about the next one as well. In fact, as I walk along the street, it seems every door is a little bit special.
I’m in a narrow street called Rua de Santa Maria (Santa Maria Street) in the capital of Madeira, Funchal. It’s not wide enough for cars and, even if it was, tables and chairs from the many restaurants and cafes are taking up most of the space. This is the old part of the city, not far from the water’s edge and it’s feeling the effects of age.
In an effort to revitalise the area, the local council has organised an art project in the street this year. And, as I discover quite quickly, it involves the doors of the buildings.
About 200 doors – into houses, restaurants, businesses, galleries – have been handed over to artists and designers who have been asked to ‘do something with them’. Their canvases invite people inside every day. The idea is to create a piece of work that invites people in to something deeper.
In many ways it has already succeeded in achieving its goal to revitalise the area. Not only is there more colour and energy but also visitors are slowing down and looking around more. The street is not just a thoroughfare or the location of somewhere to eat – it is now something to enjoy and savour in its own right.
I thought I would bring you a selection of the beautiful artwork on the doors. With about 200 that have been transformed, there are many more than this. But it gives you a taste. Do you have a favourite one?