Portrait Hugo Madureira

Hugo Madureira

Hugo Madureira is an artist and contemporary jewellery maker living and working in the UK. Specialised in archival photography of cultural heritage and historical media, his work ranges from sculpture and installation to jewellery and photography.

What have you rebelled against in the past, and what are you rebelling against now?
Most things, I have always enjoyed being inclined to disagree.

Do you need to be a rebel to enjoy your work?
To enjoy the pieces in action yes, you do.

Do you use your own work?
My jewellery and objects are sparingly displayed around my flat and I seldom wear any, saving it for significant gatherings. My passion for ceramics and pottery is long and I collect mainly vernacular objects from the most diverse places rather than displaying or using my own.

Do you think dishware can still be improved? If yes, in what way?
What we can improve is our understanding of certain wares, the meaning that things convey and why certain materials are used within certain communities. I recently discovered that some wares from Bisalhães in Portugal and from Oaxaca in Mexico both called “barro negro” are unique to each region, yet technically blacken in very distinctive ways which are far more complex than simple colouring. There is a lot of love there, in that incredibly pure and innocent process, with such an unusual result. A colleague from the Royal Academy mentioned that she couldn’t help but think of the Archaeological Museum in Naples and the ceramics from Pompeii, the significance of these pieces is at times very powerful. My arrest in such matters is diverse as I am also very appreciative of wares from companies such as Ikea or Wedgwood. It is an extraordinary medium as it incorporates many things and connects us all.

What was the inspiration for your Steinbeisser series?
The Steinbeisser project itself. Creating beautiful pieces that can create discomfort to the settled prescribed design life that we lead. It is important to recognise that there is a component of eroticism to my wares. Textured hoops of rings fashioned from brims of cups and bowls, were the mouth usually touches, you may slurp and suck the juices from them, drag the food by interloping your fingers into an arrange of flavours.

Describe your work in 3 words!
Tactile. Primal. Stardust.

What kind of materials do you use and where do you get them?
Iron fill from Tiranti in London, metal leaves and metallic powders from Orlandi in Milan, fair trade silver and gold from my suppliers in Hatton Garden.

What are you working on right now?
Hair and silver brooches, for a while I was growing and treating my own hair only to collect it for this work I will be developing.

What excites you about tomorrow?
Believing I am somewhat freer than I was used to, that I can walk for miles in London in constant contemplation and awe. That I can move anywhere in the world and from something minimal I would be able to create.

What has been your favourite dinner experience?
There are so many. Dining with friends by the river at Casa D’Oro in Porto while watching the amazing landscape. Eating the Milanese risotto by Chef Marchesi at La Scala restaurant. The strawberries of lake Nemi used in primi, deserts and liquors. That roadside cafe in Monte Argentario serving a true traditional lasagne. My fist time in Le Caprice in London, their beef tartare is to die for. I have an excellent memory for food and I often return to places to delve in their gastronomic traditions.

What further ambitions do you have?
Two, and they are contradictory perhaps. Getting closer to my community, learning and making a difference though artistic endeavours. Still, I have felt throughout my life a wish to live in other places and other continents so this is likely to happen any time soon.

What are you 3 favourite pieces on Jouw…?
The Twisted Teapot by Tono Perez is wonderfully crafted, robust and elegant, the Broken Reassembled Plates by Felt+Fat, which are really funky, and probably the Worm Tracks Spoons by Sophie Hanagarth, these are really special for me as they are very contemplative and luminous.