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Indagare Insider: Photographer Jenna Duffy’s Lisbon Picks

Photographer Jenna Duffy was drawn to the creative energy of Lisbon, and has been living as an expat artist in the coastal capital ever since. When she’s not taking pictures—Duffy even photographed Indagare’s fall Insider Journey to Lisbon—she is exploring the vibrant Portuguese city. Here, Duffy shares her picks for the top restaurants, sites and activities that visitors won’t want to miss.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a customized journey to Lisbon.

What brought you to Lisbon, and what projects are you currently involved in?

In 2018, after 12 years in New York, I craved adventure and change, so I quit my career and left my home in Brooklyn to travel the world with my camera and explore projects rooted in sustainability, mindfulness, eco-chic living, travel and wellness. The art scene in New York doesn’t feel the same amidst the commercialized landscape of “New Era Brooklyn.”

I went rogue. I moved to Nosara, Costa Rica to set up a small photo studio. Life in the jungle is serene, but to create true impact with my photography on a global scale, I must be immersed in a thriving creative community, one whose values of collaboration and creating positive change for the planet align with my own…Enter Lisbon!

About a year ago, Lisbon was getting all the buzz from my international artist network as the place to be. Serendipitously, I was introduced through a friend to Passa Ao Futuro (PAF), an emerging cultural initiative whose mission is to link designers with craftsmen and artisans in Portugal.  

This project weaves together a network of old world and new, aims to redefine how luxury goods are made, create sustainable business models centered around regenerative design and bring business back to Portugal for the traditional arts carrying forward generations of knowledge.

I was invited to shoot the Reimagine Decorative Arts residency with PAF in partnership with FRESS at The Museum of Decorative Arts, Summer Camp with PAF and  The Ministry of Culture and The Michelangelo Foundation at the Museo De Arte Popular in Lisbon. I created portraits of basketry artisans, techniques and raw materials across the country for the PAF artisan directory and an exhibition in Lisbon at the Museo De Arte Popular in October 2019.

Tell us more about the artisan exhibit.

The exhibition on basketry, Um Cento de Cestos (One Hundred Baskets), opens at the end of October at the Museo De Arte Popular and will run for a year. There is a growing interest in basketry and the technologies and patterns of weaving around the world. Designers and architects are adapting patterns to new forms and materials, finding uses and solutions. Within new economic systems, such as the circular economy model, products made with these natural fibers have great potential. Due to their sustainability credentials, these ancient materials can be given a new life and brought to the forefront of the product landscape.

The exhibit will include a selection of more than 500 pieces from the collections of both the National Museum of Ethnology and Museum of Popular Art, including natural materials, artisan techniques, portraits and the baskets and tools deemed most important on a cultural level.

Items will be on sale at the museum, online at www.passaaofuturo.com and through select vendors in 2020. 

With a print purchase from my Fine Art series, you receive 10 percent off your first order through the PAF Basket Collection.

The pieces created for the FRESS Reimagine Decorative Arts Residency are available for sale now here.

Related: Five To Know: Lisbon

What is your favorite aspect of living in Lisbon?

The light! It’s a photographer’s dream come true. The sun shines at the perfect combination of angle in the sky and warm, glowy hue, making it ideal for the commercial lifestyle portraiture that I shoot. Pair that with the colorful city and welcoming artistic community and living here is a no-brainer.

What are some favorite sights, activities, museums or neighborhoods in Lisbon that you would recommend to a visitor?

The MAAT Museum for the views. Bairro Alto for the food. A sunset boat ride on the river. I stick close to the water, since I’m an ocean lover. I highly recommend morning trips to the Caparica Coast, Cascais and Sintra.

What is a can’t-miss activity for every visitor to Lisbon?

LX Factory’s Saturday Market.  

Related: Lisbon Shopping Guide

Do you have a favorite restaurant, shop or hotel?

  • +351, for everyday coastal chic clothing designed in Lisbon. I’m all about pieces that mix and match and travel well.
  • Fora, for sunglasses made in Portugal 
  • Electric Tiger, for vintage clothing (and a more sustainable approach to fashion)
  • Comoba, for matcha lattes, green juice, great food and a trendy café vibe 
  • Heim Café, for weekend brunch
  • Café Janis, for an early dinner
  • Quintal d’Santo Amaro, for vegan lunch 
  • Manifest Lisbon, for the wine bar

Do you have a favorite day trip or weekend trip from Lisbon?

  • Sublime Comporta, for a luxury spa weekend
  • Ericeira, for a down-to-earth surf trip 
  • Peniche, for a weekend (it’s closer than going to the Hamptons). Stay at MH Peniche, and eat at Profresco.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a customized journey to Lisbon.

– Melissa Biggs Bradley on September 25, 2019

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