A living archive for an equitable Portuguese art scene

It’s an ocean, not a puddle from which you only drink once* is an online archive that aims to promote and research the work of Portuguese woman artists: transgender and cisgender, but also non-binary and intersex individuals. Our objective is to promote the presence and visibility of works and artists within the Portuguese art context but also internationally, trying to reduce the existing injustice when it comes to questions of parity of gender, race, and class.

Coordinated by curator Susana Pomba, this ocean platform is the result of a research trip to Washington DC with a Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation grant. The logo and visual identity was designed by Mariana Veloso, web design by Sara Orsi, and press by Rita Tomás. Our writers are: Lígia Afonso, Andreia C. Coutinho, Joana Duarte, and Maria Duran Marques.

This living archive is organized in four areas: an index of ARTISTS; an index of WORKS; a magazine called BULLETIN, with news about events and essays; and TEMPEST, an area of curatorial and research projects. In this living archive the artworks are as visible as the biographical data of each artist, and the biographical texts go beyond the facts of their lives.

The temporal arch is very wide (through centuries), and the artists are Portuguese or living in Portugal for a substantial period of time (years), showing their work in a public way in institutional, commercial or non-profit exhibition spaces. The coordinator of this ocean platform reserves the right to select the artists that are featured in our database.

© authors of the works and authors of the texts (or their heirs or legal representatives)

Title by Isabel Carvalho

*It’s an ocean, not a puddle from which you only drink once [É um oceano, não é uma poça de onde se bebe uma vez in Portuguese], is a sentence by Isabel Carvalho, the title of a performance that the artist presented at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – Modern Art Centre, in 2013. An integral part of a Cycle of Performances, curated by Isabel Carlos and Rita Fabiana for the show Under the Sign of Amadeo. A Century of Art, this piece had as a starting point a series of 23 drawings by Ana Hatherly belonging to the Gulbenkian collection, titled The Pomegranate, from 1973. The performance is available online (in Portuguese) at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s website, here.

The artist Isabel Carvalho has kindly given us permission to use her sentence as the title of this archive, and we would like to thank her very much for that.

The artist’s official website, here

Sponsors & Support

It’s an Ocean was supported by Direção-Geral das Artes 2021/2022

Would you like to support us?
Let’s talk
Susana Pomba
msdove [@] gmail.com


oceano [@] eumoceano.pt

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Would you like to support us?
Let’s talk
Susana Pomba
msdove [@] gmail.com


Terms & Conditions
All content is protected by copyright under Portuguese legislation, the European Union and the International Treaties, and cannot be used outside the conditions of free use permitted by law, without the express and written consent of the authors of the works and texts, or their heirs or legal representatives, and from It’s an Ocean. Any question or clarification related to content, please contact us via oceano [@] eumoceano.pt

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