The Usina de Arte publishing house launches its first book: "Casa Caiada – Uma Historia Entre Linhas” (“Casa Caiada – A Story Between the Lines”)

March 2023
From a culturalist perspective, the illustrated work rescues the trajectory of Tapetes Casa Caiada, one of the most successful handmade tapestry enterprises in Brazil. For more than sixty years, the Pernambuco manufacture, conceived and executed by women, has been producing a virtuous, creative, and singular embroidery, recognized in Brazil and abroad. It is, therefore, a business story with strong social and aesthetic content.

This 7-part book begins by exploring the role women have played in the art of weaving throughout the ages. Pulling the threads of history, the narrative recalls the beginnings of the production of Casa Caiada, in Recife, in the late sixties, when a family partnership was established between Edith and Maria Digna Pessoa de Queiroz. They were able to mobilize low-income women to learn and make woolen rugs, an artisanal craft not very common in Pernambuco.

With the purpose of creating something original, the craftsmanship was based on the artistic and historical heritage of Pernambuco, the first source of inspiration for the rug patterns. The first pieces were given names that evoke Pernambuco’s monuments, sites, and landscapes.

In the early 1970s, Tapetes Casa Caiada were exhibited in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, achieving great prestige. Soon thereafter, numerous exhibitions were organized in various Brazilian capitals. Starting in 1976, Casa Caiada developed the Armorial series, with patterns created by Ariano Suassuna for the publications A Pedra do Reino and O Rei Degolado in the Caatingas do Sertão. This was when pieces intended for walls were woven. The Armorial production was critically acclaimed in the wake of major exhibitions in Recife and at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro.

By the end of the decade, with the successful production and sales, the Tapetes Casa Caiada’s studio was transferred to the “factory’s village”, a larger space belonging to the Industrial Company of Pernambuco. Under the exclusive command of Maria Digna and with the support of her sons and daughters, Casa Caiada moved on to a new phase. The production was increased, and the finishing touches of the pieces were improved.

The story follows a timeline of the eighties when Casa Caiada began suffering from unfair competition and the instability of the Brazilian economy. Maria Digna faces the challenge of conquering the international market, which required the introduction of new floral patterns and other exotic motifs from Brazilian flora and fauna. Casa Caiada was awarded prizes for its international performance. Great exhibitions were also held in Europe. The definitive breakthrough of Casa Caiada mainly in the American market relied on Ann Brandow’s representation. That was when great international personalities began to order and purchase the handcrafts.

As of the 2000s, Tapetes Casa Caiada began to function as a non-profit institution. Maria Digna and her family started to have the strategic function of guiding the production of the cooperative women of the Lagoa do Carro municipality, where the weaving activity of Casa Caiada has impacted the quality of life of local men and women. There are some testimonies of women weavers in the book.

The last part of the book is dedicated to Maria Digna, a personal motivator in the running of Casa Caiada, especially through human contact with the women weavers. The feeling of social responsibility and the desire to help transform lives inspired Maria Digna to build a story of successful collective entrepreneurship.

Maria Eduarda Marques

You will be directed to the page Nosso Livro (Our Book) of the Tapetes Casa Caiada website.

The Usina de Arte inaugurated Saturday, March 11, “Conversadeiras”, a new permanent work by artist Claudia Jaguaribe.

March 2023 Overlapping past and present, "Conversadeiras" is a work that enhances the power of dialogues at the Usina de Arte.

The artwork by the artist Claudia Jaguaribe brings a set of tile-covered benches with overlapping images to the art collection of the project’s Artistic-Botanical Park in Mata Sul, Pernambuco.

Conversar (to converse); from the Latin conversartio, to join the other or meet someone frequently. In times of disconnections and isolations, the Rio de Janeiro visual artist Claudia Jaguaribe proposes an invitation to dialogue, as the simplest consequence of encounters, with her new work “Conversadeiras”.

Bringing the word “conversation” to the name of the work presupposes multiple meanings since the creation is composed of four sets of sculptural benches, three of them with a tall structure, all covered with tiles illustrated with superimpositions of elements photographed by the artist. The structures, which are sometimes linear, sometimes curvilinear, organically compose the park furniture as a space to rest and contemplate the landscape, sparking conversation. It also encourages dialogues around itself, by combining elements belonging to the past and the present of this place, which was once a sugarcane mill.

“Conversadeiras” was designed by Jaguaribe for the Usina de Arte, precisely to create points of connection in this temporal mark of almost 100 years of existence of Usina Santa Terezinha. “These benches-sculptures work as a support for a material that I have been working with, which are the tiles, and tell a little of the trajectory and new proposals of the Usina and its totally redefined social function. It is from this link between the past and the present that we glimpse paths for the future,” says the artist, who has perceived the artistic potentiality of tiles since childhood. Items present at the entrance to her house, in the places she visited, among relatives’ houses, churches, and squares in the Northeast.

This is not the first time Claudia creates for external environments, but the work at Usina de Arte exclusively presents a new technique that allows for the immortality of photographic images in open spaces. Digitally printed in an oven at more than 3,000ºC, the tiles that cover the concrete and iron structure carry an eternalized palimpsest of elements that mirror the local flora and popular art, folklore, historical periods, maps, among other kinds of references. These elements compose the history of Pernambuco and of the cultural equipment in Mata Sul, Pernambuco, which for almost 10 years has been driving the socioeconomic development of its surroundings with art, environment, culture, and education. An environment, then, of conversations among people, conversation about what has been left behind with the foreseeable horizons.