artist statement: underfoot

Underfoot (Lagos, Portugal)

Pedestrians walking over cobblestones as part of their normal routine, seemingly unaware of the beauty beneath their feet. That they were oblivious to what I was seeing was made more apparent by the blank stares and numerous questions put to me as I stopped and bent low with my camera.

Calçada Portuguesa, traditional Portuguese cobblestones, have a storied past, having been used as paving for walkways, streets and squares since the 1500s. From the mid-1800s on, stones of different colours and shapes were added to the mix to create designs, patterns and images in portions of the paving found in urban centres.

Polished by millions of footsteps, the character of each stone evolves throughout the day as the angle and intensity of the light striking them change. None are perfectly formed. Each has its own flaws. But when put together, whether it be for a regular section of paving or one depicting an image or a design, their unique qualities blend to create something more. I came to think of the cobblestones metaphorically, as a community coming together for a common purpose.

Returning to watch the pedestrians, I could not help but wonder, how much beauty do we fail to notice as we go through our day?

To view image gallery: Click here.