Two of the main streets of Carvoeiro are now full of colour thanks to a new initiative which has seen the electricity boxes on Rua dos Pescadores and Rua do Barranco transformed into works of art.
The original concept of decorating the electricity boxes with street art came from Phil Francis aka ‘Phil da Bife’ last year and was supported by the freguesia – and after a lengthy wait the project was finally approved by EDP so that work could begin on decorating the boxes – which are traditionally a boring grey colour and often covered in posters or scruffy adverts.
With the help of a professional graffiti artist Helder José (aka ‘Bamby’ from Style Spectrum) they began to design and spray paint the boxes around the town, adding a bright splash of colour to hidden corners and streets:
We were lucky enough to meet Phil and Bamby hard at work on their latest designs using intricately drawn and cut stencils:
Phil is English/Portuguese and has lived in Carvoeiro for 27 years. He is evidently proud of both the town he lives in, its local people and customs, and way of life, as shown through the designs they have chosen to use on the boxes. Phil is also a trainee tattooist at Tattoo Studium in Carvoeiro and it is obvious that he is loving this project!
Bamby is German/Portuguese and runs his own company Style Spectrum (#stylespectrum_unlocked) specialising in art décor and graphic design.
The theme for the project is Algarvian life and the designs are often also based on Carvoeiro history, and they have also cleverly incorporated some images from Sr. Vasco Reyes’ monograph of Carvoeiro. The first box to be completed was this one, illustrating an Algarvian chimney so typical of the region:
This project has been sponsored by the Carvoeiro freguesia and Lagoa câmara and it is a really nice unique and colourful idea that can only benefit the local area. We had great fun walking the streets trying to spot them all .. beware some of them are quite tucked away!
There are stories attached to many of the images, including those of the illustrations of local residents and characters. The old lady in this image people say is ‘Tia Olympia’…
And there are two old fishermen – the one with the hat is ‘João Peludo’ which translates as ‘Hairy John’ 😉
And the other fisherman’s name hasn’t been confirmed yet – so if anyone knows who he is .. do let us know!
One of the things we liked most about the project is the sensitive way many of the images and colours have been selected to fit into and complement their immediate environment, like this one outside the local hand-painted tiles shop:
And this one which matches the shop sign colours so well:
There are also nice personal memories of the town for the artists – as Phil says “The Nivea ball is also an old memory as we used to have one on the beach”
Phil hopes to have the first phase of around 55 boxes completed by Christmas and there is already talk of a Phase II which would encompass the Estrada do Farol – Lighthouse hill; and with all its colourful bars and cafés I’m sure that would give the lads plenty of ideas for new designs!
This is one of our favourite ones so far:
The artists have asked the public to help them by tagging any photographs taken and uploaded onto social media by adding the hashtag #carvoeiroboxes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
We would like to wish the lads every success with this project and thank them for brightening up the streets of Carvoeiro.
There are more pictures to enjoy in the gallery below – and do let us know what you think.
Click on any of the images below to start the slideshow.
These are awesome and I love the idea of taking something boring and making it beautiful. Next time I’m in Carvoeiro I’m going to do some walking around to see how many I can spot. Anita
glad you like them! They keep adding new ones so let me know if you find ones we missed!
Brilliant, Alyson. What a difference that makes. Love it
thank you – we enjoyed photographing it and meeting the two guys behind it all!
Spent a morning looking at electricity street cabinets – sad? Not at all as these in Carvoeiro are inspiring, bright, cheerful and addictive – what a brilliant idea. Thank you.
yes it does sound a bit mad until you see them doesn’t it!
Saw these recently, walked all around the town to photograph them, so brilliant. Now trying to get the idea taken up in Penzance where I live.
ah good luck! I used to live near Penzance and many moons ago policed the streets of Helston! say hello to the Minack theatre for me and the beautiful North Cornish coast – and my favourite Cornish place of all – Coverack!
Thanks, and will do! Check out http://www.popuppenzance.co.uk or Pop Up Penzance on facebook to see the work we do in our town centre. Our project called Let’s Paint Penzance has recently got some funding so we are working on getting the rest of the necessary money to get it started. Fingers crossed Penzance may soon be getting the street art treatment it so deserves. 🙂
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Hi Folks, yes, for BT to paint their boxes would be a big ask.
But one never knows what mite happen, as one of the artists who
painted the boxes in Carvoeiro has a link with Cornwall.
Hi Rod, see above, we are half way to getting the money needed to bring this project alive in Penzance. See our facebook, Pop Up Penzance, or website, http://www.popuppenzance.co.uk to see what we do in Penzance. cheers 🙂
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It was an absolute joy to see your art work transforming electric boxes into wonderful colourful and amazing art. Loved spotting them every night on my lovely holiday to Carvoeiro.
Marijke van Diggelen,
Wij waren met de familie in Carvoeiro en vonden dit zo’n leuk project, dat wij een poging gaan doen voor een zelfde idee in onze gemeente! Dank je wel voor het opleuken van de elektriciteits kastjes!!
During my holiday I walked in the streets of Carveiro. Finding the boxes, making pictures, they made my day. Tomorrow I want to see them all
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