By Rede Portuguesa de Arte Contemporânea a Norte (RPAC – Norte)
Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Map of Sculptures in the city (2021)Original Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Location of the 57 Sculptures
The MIECST originated from a proposal formulated by the sculptor Alberto Carneiro to the City Council of Santo Tirso in 1990.
Currently, the MIECST is distributed into six main units:
D. Maria II Park and adjacent gardens
Located next to the Santo Tirso Monastery and the river Ave, this space features 15 sculptures.
25 April Square
This space, composed of 16 sculptures, is located next to the City Council building, designed by the architect Agostinho Ricca. The gardens overlook Mount Nossa Senhora da Assunção.
The Carvalhais Park contains five sculptures, is located between 25 de Abril Square and Camilo Castelo Branco Square, and includes the gardens adjacent to the Swimming Pools and the Municipal Sports Pavilion.
Camilo Castelo Branco Square
A square where the first two sculptures by Alberto Carneiro are located, at the International Museum of Contemporary Sculpture. It also includes another sculpture, where the author paid tribute to the mentor of this project.
Sara Moreira Urban Park
Its grounds extend from the start of the footpath near the Santo Tirso Monastery, on the right bank of the river Ave, to the Sara Moreira Urban Park. It contains 12 sculptures - two at the beginning of the footpath, one at the entrance and the others scattered around the park.
Gião Urban Park
Gião Urban Park is located next to the Sanguinhedo River and the Municipal Library. Hosting five sculptures, the only indoor sculpture of MIEC can be found here.
Water on Earth, 1989-90
These sculptures, dating from 1989/90, by Alberto Carneiro, were the start of the creation of the open-air Museum, with the organisation of sculpture symposiums with artists from various origins.
Untitled (1999) by Dani KaravanOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Dani Karavan's Fountain Column manifests a relationship between a pair of vertical columns on a pedestal and the undulating waters of a canal that demarcates one side of Carvalhais Park. The tall columns become small compared to the long waterway that turns the work into a plac
Look inside yourself (1996) by David LamelasOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Mira hacie dientro de ti, 1996
David Lamelas presents us with a structure similar to a dwelling, designed by its elementary edges, which only delimit a space, defining indoor-outdoor situations. In this project, the artist experiments with a desire that has guided his work: to produce sculptural forms without any physical volume.
The nature of stone (1991) by Reinhard KlessingerOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
The nature of stone, 1991
Going down to Praça do Município (Município Square), Reinhard Klessinger creates a multiple piece that prolongs a practice consistent with previous interventions in which the association between contrasting materials is stimulated - iron, glass and stone - local elements of ancestral memory, in a complex relationship that generates its own space and leads to a symbolic experience of the place.
Untitled (1996) by Ângelo de SousaOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
In this proposal, Ângelo de Sousa recovers, on a different scale, some domestic and spontaneous experiences elaborated in the 1960s and 1970s from folding and cutting out pieces of paper. Thus, the artist explores transpositions of the plane into forms related to sculpture by their three-dimensionality, designing spaces of great fluidity and simplicity.
Untitled (2001) by Um Tai JungOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
A "broken" door on a solid wall becomes a symbol of hope and represents the end of isolation or oppression. A passageway, once obstructed, that rekindles our longing for freedom. Um Tai Jung makes us reflect on the walls and borders that are being erected for political, social or religious reasons.
Untitled (2004) by Peter KlasenOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Peter Klasen's sculpture allows us to identify mechanical elements or parts of an electronic device that convey a particular fascinating strangeness. Structured formally in two parts, one heavy and earthy and the other airy and delicate, the piece has the appearance of a childish architecture or a gigantic playful-construction game.
I am waiting (1999) by Fernanda FragateiroOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
I hope, 1999
This positive statement reveals hope for a future comeback. Thus, Fernanda Fragateiro has created a kind of private and peculiar world where the composition has a sentimental and symbolic value that bets on an ambiguous universe transforming this "bench" into a work of art, for D. Maria II Park.
Fernanda Fragateiro also used a late 19th century photograph in her work by Julia Margaret Cameron (English photographer and a pioneer in portrait photography) which reveals a close-up portrait of her niece, Rachel Gurney.
A sculpture for Santo Tirso (2001) by Pedro Cabrita ReisOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
A Sculpture for Santo Tirso, 2001
Pedro Cabrita Reis used materials and working methods that are typical of civil engineering to build a small dwelling, by exposing the bricks, without any coating, and leaving no room for imagination as to the precarious nature of the work, which contrasts with the other sculptures located in the surrounding area.
Capriccio (1993) by Amy YoesOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Amy Yoes creates an architectural experience of sculpture that gradually, through an interplay of spaces simultaneously open and closed, in a clear reference to inner-outer dialectics, conveys the idea of a primordial house, of an intimate, cosy and transcendent space.
The sculpture is topped by winged vessels, similar to amphorae, which immediately conjure up the idea of containers that preserve and transport sacred products such as water, wine, oil, honey, cereals or seeds.
Skytrap (2015) by Pierre Marie LejeuneOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Piège à ciel, 2015
Pierre Marie Lejeune’s sculpture proposes rigour and formal purity, establishing an intimate relationship with the place, through the reflection of the surroundings on mirrored surfaces.
If the structure has, on the one hand, a strong appeal for contemplation, on the other it challenges passers-by to interact through the playful potentiality of the reflections.
Sesriem - The six-strap well (2008) by Ângela FerreiraOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
SESRIEM – Poço das seis correias, 2008
For this project, Ângela Ferreira chose a reference in nature: the Sesriem campsite in the Namib Desert, Namibia, in order to celebrate the memory of this place by bringing it close to us, through a permanent game of references.
a) The central treetop has been transformed into a playful place with a modernist metal structure that sways like trees in the wind allowing it to be climbed by children;
b) The wall that outlines the terrain appears here, this time serving as a support for the title of the work and to be used as a seat for those accompanying the children;
c) The circular area defined by the wall was filled with sand, referencing the Namib desert.
Wind egg (2012) by Kishida KatsujiOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Oeuf du vent, 2012
The "wind egg" was born from Kishida's sensory internalisation of space: the sound of leaves rustling in the wind, invisible to the naked eye or the drawings sketched by the movement of air between the trees. The invisible immateriality of the place triggered the inspiration and the artist’s desire to convert it into matter.
Cube (2012) by Jacques VillegléOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Villeglé wrote about this concept: "Tearing represents a primal gesture to me; it is a guerrilla warfare of images and signs. In a display of anger, the anonymous passer-by distorts the message and opens a new space of freedom. For me, torn posters bring art closer to life and announce the end of transposition painting..."
Always interested in printing and graphic design research, in 1969, he imagines a "socio-political alphabet" where letters are replaced by monetary, religious and political symbols and with which he creates works of painting and sculpture, such as the public artwork - Cube.
Canyon (2012) by Pino CastagnaOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Possessing an ambiguous appearance, "Canyon" exposes, in a disconcerting way, a fracture that rips the material of the sculpture to reveal an organic interior. The unusual relationship established between the geometric exterior and its contrast with the irregular organicity of the work's interior should be highlighted as well.
Open (2015) by Arghira CalinescuOriginal Source: Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
At the Geão Urban Park, Arghira Calinescu presents a work made of Corten steel that reveals a kind of standard de-multiplication of a rectangular vertical plane that is cut out inside until it reaches its centre. A work of geometric cutting and deconstruction that seems to follow the instructions of "cutting with no leftovers".
More information at
Museu Internacional de Escultura Contemporânea de Santo Tirso
Rede Portuguesa de Arte Contemporânea a Norte
City Council of Santo Tirso