Goan artist to present Portuguese PM with Pessoa painting


Panaji: Veteran artist Vamona Navelcar‘s painting of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa will be presented to Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa in Lisbon.

This initiative comes from cultural activist and founder of Goa Ghumot group, Marius Fernandes who also held Goa’s first art festival dedicated solely to Navelcar and his legacy.

Elated about sending this special gift to him, Navelcar said, “The painting will remind Costa of my friendship with his father.”

Fernandes said that this impromptu decision was made while having a casual chat with the octagenarian artist.

“We were having a regular conversation on poetry when he said Pessoa, a celebrated Portuguese poet was his favourite. We then went on to talk about Portugal and I told him there’s a conference at Casa de Goa on May 6 which will be attended by Antonio Costa,” said Fernandes.

Fernandes further added that Navelcar expressed enthusiasm at the Portugal PM’s name and immediately quipped that he knew his father. Navelcar had given one of his paintings to Costa’s father decades ago. One conversation therefore led to another and subsequently Fernandes pitched him the idea of gifting a portrait to the Portuguese PM.

“He immediately picked up his brush and painted a beautiful image of Pessoa. I took it upon myself to ensure that the portrait reaches Costa,” Fernandes added.

Avertano Miranda was, therefore, entrusted with this task. He is the coordinator for Goa Green Brigade and will be presenting a paper on Goa’s environment at Casa de Goa for the conference on sustainable development.

“Navelcar paints with such ease; the way he draws is inspiring. It’s a privilege for me to take the painting of Fernando Pessoa to Antonio Costa on behalf of Navelcar. I am humbled by the faith they have put in me,” Miranda said.

In addition to this, Goa’s lone surviving mud instrument, the ghumot has also been sent to Portugal with Edgar Vales, president of Casa de Goa, as a gift from Goa.

 “The painting and ghumot will be gifted to him on the day of the conference,” Fernandes said.