15/07/2013 | Revista Tam Nas nuvens - Conexão Natureza - In Natura - Julho 2013 | Ano 06 | Nº 67

Since he was little, Cícero Alves dos Santos has been known as Véio [ in portuguese, "old man"]. He got the nickname when he was 5 years old for his fondness for the storues of the elders. Born and raised in Nossa Senhora Da Glória in the backlands of Sergipe, perhaps this is why he sees so many fables in the branches he finds in his surroundings:his raw material is a direct product of nature. " I started using wood because I saw a lot of vegetation destroyed; people had no knowledge of the reality. I started talking advantage of this material and giving life to my art", says the Sergipe native. Now 66 years old,he proudly maintains a piece of forest reserve on his property, where he lives with his livelihood,living in the midst of 10,000 original works of art, which he doesn't sell, lend or rent out: 'I don't put a prince tag on my work". To Véio, there are two types of wood - open and closed. " If you have to create on top of the trunk, it's a 'Closed' tree, In the other kinds, in which the tree is 'open' you can explore what is there and ready, from nature," he explains, speaking plainly. In 2012,he went to Paris (his first trip abroad) on invitation from the renowned Cartier Foundation to speak about his work and the traditions of Brazil's Northeasternbacklands, which are so dear to him. " To me,nature is life. I had properties and i got rid of them to invest in the reserve. I never raised a cent of revenue. I get so much more when I look at a centuries -old tree that's over 65 feet [20 m] tall, which holds this hereditary knowledge

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