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Artist Spotlight: Bruno Vinhas

Bruno Vinhas is a St. John’s-based textile design – theatre artist. Neighbourhood Dance Works first engaged Bruno Vinhas as an artist through his work on Body House, a collaboration between Vinhas and Italian visual and dance artist Valentina Gaia-Lops. This project was also awarded the 9th Annual Roberta Thomas Legacy Award by Neighbourhood Dance Works in March 2021. As of 2022, Vinhas now also sits on NDW’s Board of Directors.

1. Is there a piece of art you are drawing from/inspired by?

I am always inspired by large installations and stage sets for my work. I am currently working on a project that involves a large amount of draped fabric and the work of Yayoi Kusama tend to be my go-to for creative inspiration

2. What have been your biggest challenges and inspirations creating during the past 2 years?

The past 2 years have been challenging throughout. The lack o social interactions and the increase on online-only things you could do promoted a state of mind in which I was stuck for creation. Although these 2 years gave an uplift on my personal career as an artist and moved out of my comfort zone for creation, I discovered that I live with high-functioning depression; the hardest thing about being in a depressed state is that people have preconceived ideas of what it might look like. They usually associate it with not being able to cope with daily life and isolation, but in truth, not everyone experiences depression the same way. Some people are fully functional as social beings; I am one of those.

During this period I was really inspired by my dear friend, Valentina Gaia-Lops, work and we started collaborating on the Body House Project which threads the themes of self-love, body acceptance, and perceived limitations by society through, video, photography, textiles, and dance. Between this project, a solo exhibition talking about my depression through textile art and the pleasure to work with Winnie Churchill on one of his music videos, art gave sense to my life once again. The opportunity to work and curate amazing shows at the CCNL gallery and talk to other artists of different disciplines was also a high motivator to keep creating.

3. Has the experience from the past 2 years created new patterns in your life, new routines? If so, what are they?

It definitely did! Some are more visible and tangible than others. I am still unraveling my own personal thread, most importantly the past 2 years were a great opportunity to learn what makes the right impacts on my personal life. Self-care is important, and that was a tough lesson to learn as well as setting limits. It has been a long journey.

4. What are some comfort foods that have soothed your soul during the pandemic?

Mmmm, that is a tough one. Pizza has always been my comfort food but I learned how to make my own dough during the pandemic and this has been life-changing hahaha. This is the link for one of the doughs I make these days when in a hurry, but there are so many more I could share.

5. What are you looking forward to? Dream projects, projects in the making, a good soup tonight, warmer weather?

Definitely looking for warmer weather so I can start gardening in my new place! Kinda became a "plant-dad" during the pandemic!

This is a cool project that I am working on these days and will be released very soon:, you can also find my bio on the website!


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