The Lagos municipality unanimously approved a vote of condolence for the death of Jorge Mealha, artist, sculptor and ceramist, "lamenting this loss and expressing condolences to his family and friends".
In 2019, the municipality had already recognized «the talent, the path and the work of this artist, resident in Lagos», by awarding him, on the Municipality Day, the Municipal Medal of Merit – Grau Prata.
Jorge Augusto Mealha da Costa, better known only as Jorge Mealha, was born in 1934 in the city of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), where he lived and worked until 1974, where he dedicated himself to ceramics, sculpture and interior decoration.
Since 1964, he participated in individual and collective exhibitions, inside and outside the country, developing works and interventions integrated in various architecture and urbanism projects, such as public spaces, hotels, banks, private residences, airport facilities and manufacturing facilities.
In his artistic training, he contacted and learned from the great masters, such as the painter António Quadros (at the Loureço Marques Art Center) and Querubim Lapa (in Lisbon).
In 1975 he came to reside in the Algarve, adopting, shortly afterwards, Lagos as a haven, where he settled and lived for more than four decades, here developing a large part of his artistic career, dedicating himself exclusively to sculpture and ceramics.
In the public space of the city of Lagos it is possible to appreciate pieces of his own, such as the stone pattern commemorating the 10th of June (inaugurated in 1996, during the official celebrations held here), the tile panel that lines the access to the pedestrian bridge from the Marina and also in the Portuguese pavement covering several public sidewalks in the city. His work is also represented in art collections by many public and private institutions.
In Casa dos Oleiros, which was until a few days ago his family home, work studio and exhibition space, Jorge Mealha's works are present in every corner.
Miriam Tavares, a researcher who in 2010 curated the exhibition “Jorge Mealha – 1960/2010 – Reinventing an Art”, then shown at the Centro Cultural de Lagos under the Allgarve program, described Mealha as “An African artist (who) was born in Mozambique in 1934, but (…) who is not (just) an African artist, (since) his artistic path, quite long, (was)… the result of teaching (… ) with influences also coming from Europe, especially from Portugal ”, adding that for him, son and brother of artists,“ (…) art (was) a question of genetics, (…) a natural choice ”. Jorge Mealha “experimented with painting, drawing, traditional sculpture and batique, but his real encounter with art took place through António Quadros and a lathe. (…) The artist's encounter with ceramics was more than a chance encounter. He was born with a passion for the rest of his life that made him take several paths to deepen his knowledge and his ability to constantly reinvent technique and create his art. ”
According to the source “the idea of art, and artistic creation, (…) in the case of Jorge Mealha, is a project that accompanies and will accompany him throughout his life. And if he looked for materials, techniques and paths that brought him closer to repetition, the series, he managed, nevertheless, to create unique objects, because that is what art is made of: the artist's perception, his memories, his images, the your memories … of what was left behind, but that insists on walking beside us. What makes us who we are, who we are – unique! Unique in a world of so many ".
«Jorge Mealha had enormous talent, creativity and sensitivity, and, to the same extent, simplicity and humility, traits that characterize the great names and make them references for others», describes the municipality of Lagos.
In the vote it can also be read that, for the camera, Jorge Mealha's departure “leaves culture and the artistic panorama poorer, but his work, characterized by“ very simple unique forms ”and“ a very own universe, populated of animals, human figures, caravels, vases, columns ”will continue to walk beside us and his example will certainly be a source of inspiration for all those who find in art the form of expression, intervention and realization”.