||Some say that the region of Caraí has been forgotten by most people, and perhaps even by God. Set in the middle of the Jequitinhonha countryside, where the easiest means of transportation is by riding a donkey or a horse, the area has many treasures. The greatest of them all is Ulisses de Caraí, who is now famous among many galleries and private collectors in Brazil and abroad. As his sculptures became popular, others started copying his style, but Ulisses Pereira Chaves carried on fighting for his art at the Saint Anthony smallholding, where he has lived all his life. As he got older, his art matured. His subconscious, memories and experiences have helped create a universe of his own. “I know the forces of Nature, they talk to me and I talk to them. In the place where I work, everything belongs to Nature. People don’t usually understand it, but Nature knows everything, and gives us everything.” Ulisses Pereira has become an ardent protector of Nature, never letting anyone touch the environment around him, while at the same time guiding the life of his family with a firm hand. His daughter Margarida, who also sculpts, and his sister Ana, a very sensitive soul, know it isn’t easy to live with Ulisses and his stubborn ways, but together they change clay into transcendental figures. Ulisses can’t stand cameras, as he believes they are machines that steal energy from people and from the Earth, and allow others to copy his work. He keeps his pieces away from strangers, fearing that one day they might be mass produced and with that destroy the rite of criative passage that only he is able to share with the forces of Nature: earth, fire, wind and water.
Ulisses Pereira passed way in December, 2006 while we were finishing this project.