|It was with José Carlos, known as Índio, that Paulo Vicente Ferreira – known as Paulão – learned how to sculpt. They worked together for a long time, sculpting wood and sandstone. Índio is a unanimous reference in the art of “striking stone and making things” around Aquidauana.
Having lived in Aquidauana for 40 years, Paulão says his refuge (as he calls his home) is very special. He works in the open, in the shade of large trees, and his door is always open to whoever wants to come in. On the pavement, the sculpture of a huge anteater seems to keep the peace in the neighbourhood. Children come in and out, looking at the precise blows with which he hits the stone. “One of them is almost ready for the chisel”, says Paulão.
Around the house, hundreds of PET bottles hold rainwater. “I use this water for everything. It’s natural, and I don’t have to pay anyone for it. ”The same goes for the pieces of sandstone. Some are found in demolished houses, others are taken from the mountain range.
Paulão started sculpting human heads and then fell in love with the things he found in the Pantanal. Animals, plants and people. He proudly shows off the tools he makes himself. Whenever he sells a piece, he is happy. “I go straight to the river bank, drink some beer and eat fried fish. What could be better? When the money runs out, I start working again, until I sell another piece.”