With an artistic academic background in António Arroio Art School, IADE and AR.CO, together with a career of art production for more than thirty years, Teresa Milheiro reveals her approach to jewellery as contemporary art. Each piece of jewellery created is amplified, establishing itself as a sculpture work. The intrinsic and extrinsic of the several materials used together with the technical mastery and innovation come from a previous conceptual research work.
Additionally the strict mastery of contemporary jewellery is extrapolated by crossing this with other art forms, mainly in different dialogues with photography, music, theatre and performance. Since the beginning of her career, Teresa Milheiro is a constant presence in national and international exhibitions, both solo and collective, among which we highlight the presence in 1992 and 2007 at Schmuck in Munich, globally the most important exhibition of contemporary jewellery; in 2008 the exhibition “Royal Jewels” in Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro; in 2011 at the “Triennale Européenne du Bijou Contemporain” in Belgium; in 2016 with “way through to another side” at the Museum of Money; in 2014 “Pin – 10 years” at Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes; in 2012 with “Alphabet” at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Ar.Co; in 2012 “Border City” at the Camões Institute; in 2004, “Meeting Point – 25 years of intervention of Jewellery in Ar.Co” at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; and yet in 1990 at the “Biennale des Jeunes Criateurs de L’Europe Meditérranee”; among many others.
In 1994 she co-founds Zé dos Bois Gallery. From 1998 and for 10 years she cooperated with the company Archeofactu working on jewellery collections aimed for institutions and museums, inspired by their material heritage, keeping, at the same time, her own individual and independent creation and production. In 2007 opens the Articula Gallery. Her work can be found in ; in national and international collections; in several national and international catalogues and publications; she participated in conferences and debates, and was as well judge in several contests. She teached jewellery at Ar.Co between 2016/19.
The work from Teresa Milheiro reflects an ironical view of the current obsession with self-image – an obsession that allows political control and ignores ecological crisis.
Modern society is obsessed with physical image and EGO.
This obsession had turned our lives into a “psychological Auschwitz”. In Auschwitz, and other concentration camps, people were forced to stay there against their will. Today, however, although people are apparently free, they have in fact imprisoned themselves. Due to their self-imposed obsessions, people have stopped thinking for themselves. We live in a very dangerous moment, where the wrong choices we make now, can lead us to total alienation and have severe consequences in the social, political, and cultural context. In line with this perspective, the laboratory experiments performed in several concentration camps are comparable with today’s plastic surgery operations. However the context is different, as we know. Some 80 years ago the Nazis were looking for the perfect race. Today most humans with free will are happy to perform these experiments on themselves to become perfect and stay forever young. The denial of reality and the refusal to accept the human condition and our mortality.
It is easier to gain political control when people are obsessed with themselves and not thinking about the environment, our planet or politics…
– Teresa Milheiro