Accessible from the A2 motorway close to the ancient river port of Alcaçer do Sal, its name – Comporta – translates to mean a gate that holds back water, enabling the entire region to be interconnected with a network of irrigation canals. In the midst of endless fields of rice and organic vegetables, there are seven authentic rural villages. All the way down the coast the fields are protected from Atlantic winds by 60 kilometers of sand dunes; the powder white beaches are subjected to a huge variety of cloud and wave formations that throughout the year are a source of artistic inspiration.
Greatly influenced by her surroundings Magdalena Morey explains her love for remote areas and the crystal quality of sunshine: “My use of gold leaf in recent work represents the reflection of sun as it filters through the scenery,” she says.
After qualifying with a Master’s Degree, Magdalena’s career began with a well-paid job in a commercial studio in her hometown of Lublin, Poland. Turning her back on security she moved to England and onwards to Geneva in Switzerland. The Alps became the background for her paintings of the countryside and the colour blue became an obsession. She started to explore more abstract themes, surrealism and figurative painting.
Swayed by an interest in Picasso and Dali, she and her growing family moved to Spain, firstly to Andalucía where the summer heat drove them north to greener pastures in Asturias where they live today.
It is a truly tranquil place but Magdalena is continuously exploring new surroundings in Spain and Portugal. Looking for dramatic colour-scopes enabling her paintings to “flow”.
She admits, “When I am working, I am able to see what a painting could become and the effects I should be aiming for. As much as I would love it to, it doesn’t always happen. I start seeing colours and dimensions in different ways. It’s almost like dreaming but my visions don’t always materialise on the canvas. ”
The paintings that have successfully ‘flowed’ from Magdalena’s brush can be seen at Galeria Côrte-Real on the outskirts of the village of Paderne. S
Galeria Corte-Real is signposted from Boliqueime, Ferreiras and Paderne
Open: Thursday to Sunday, 11am until 5pm T: 912 737 762 / corterealarte.com
Words: Carolyn Kain