The concept of a touring exhibition of globes inspired by the five continents comes from sculptural artist and owner of the wine and art estate, Quinta dos Vales, Karl Heinz Stock.



This week we are transported to Oceania, where these beautiful globes were painted by fantastic artists Stella Barreto, Franco Charais and Elke Heiner.


The Characteristics of Oceania

Artist Stella Barreto was born in Portimão in 1952 where she lived and started her activity as a painter at only 17 years old. Stella attended the drawing and painting course at the Institute Parramon in Portugal and later she graduated with Art in Fabric at the Decorative Arts School António Arroio in Lisbon.

Stella currently works and has a studio in Portimão, where she resides. She teaches Artistic Drawing, Painting and Creative Techniques in high school and INICIARTE association, a project of hers, based in the House of Arts in Portimão, where she teaches drawing and painting technics. She has works around the country and abroad in museums, various institutions and private collections.



Stella shared the story behind her globe “In this process it was necessary to collect many images, try through them to find answers particularly characteristic of Australia and begin a whole execution of elaborate drawings in a simple, clear and synthetic form.”

Stella went on to explain “Then I followed a long run of drawings of all that I thought were characteristics of Australia: the architecture with its famous opera in Sydney, its bridges, the culture of its people with its primitive Aboriginal tribes, the most recognizable objects of these tribes, the animals that are particularly specific to this continent both wild and domesticated, marsupials and others.”

Adding, the globe showcases “the highly popular water sports such as surfing and sailing, wool and its merino sheep, the specific fruits of these regions, the areas shaped by nature that are true ex-libris of a country, the flora so special and adapted to the desert areas of its interior. Along these paths I travelled visually and tried to create images capable of capturing the public and attracting their eyes.”


The People of Oceania

Army General Franco Charais was born in Porto, in 1931. He was a member of the Council of State and Council of Revolution and General Commandant in Centre Portugal, after the April 25th, 1974 Revolution. At the head of a technical cooperation project with Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe of which he was the founder and, after a course in the atelier of the painter Stela Barreto to whom he is married, he decided to dedicate himself to painting. Since 1994 he has exhibited his work in many cities across Portugal, but also Spain, Germany, Austria, France, America and Japan.

Franco Charais explained more about his globe which focuses on the people of Oceania “The representative symbols of a country is its national anthem, its head of state and its national flag. On one side of the sphere, faces of the inhabitants of the largest cities were painted. On the other side, some figures were represented in traditional costumes: a pregnant dancer with a boomerang in one hand who is courted by another dancer, like a ball; and the two youngest are holding the Australian Aboriginal flag.”



Further adding that “Since the sphere has been integrated into a sculptural structure composed of several spheres, pictorial elements were used to easily relate to the Australian continent. In my painting, and in honor of the painters who decorated the caves and rocks where they lived, the pictorial elements used were used, inspired by the paintings of the Australian Aborigines. In the painting, bright colors were used for a better perception of distance and the paints used in the painting of boats and automobiles were used.”


Oceania’s Nature

Artist Elke Heiner was born in Germany, having grown up in Bonn where she studied design and occasionally worked as a poster artist where she made experiments with various techniques of painting, always fascinated by wood. Elke moved to Portugal in 1990, where she loved the country’s clear light and she spent time refurbishing old Portuguese furniture, mirrors and other delicate items for galleries, clients and friends. Nowadays her paintings are done in pastel and watercolour but to design interiors in bright and colourful shapes was her main interest for a long period of time because she travelled and lived in many countries across the globe.



Elke’s globe focuses on Oceania’s nature, where she explains “From the exotic islands of Polynesia, with the enchanting landscape of Tahiti; to Cape Reinga and Northland (NZ), covered by the gigantic Kauri Forest where the famous colorful and attractive bird “Kea” lives. Crystal clear water from Lake Taupo with Māori in their canoes around scenic volcanic land, on narrow passage roads to glaciers on the West Coast, the Fjordland with waterfalls and its colonies of rare penguins (hoiho) on Stewart Island; dense rainforests with huge ferns.”

“Many impressions found their expression around the sphere: Nature in virgin soil, surrounded by canals with famous historical routes. The whale (my favorite friend) is always following my aquatic world, escorted by a majestic octopus, a spherical monkfish, a very elegant couple of seahorses, and a shimmering starfish.”

Adding that “Far, far away, on the other side of our European feelings, lies a huge archipelago in the Pacific Ocean full of surprises of life, with the stunning beauty of nature. About a global life – which is what I love, admire and paint: the stunning nature of an aquatic world.”


This article was published in: Portugal News