The small island of Madeira, in the south of Portugal, has always been a source of inspiration for Orlando, not only because of its beauty but also because it is where he was born and grew up.
In Madeira one is never far from water, whether this is the sea, natural springs, small rivers, waterfalls, and the famous ‘levadas’ – narrow, fresh water irrigation canals that run through dense forest, often high up in the mountains. The greenery surrounding these canals reflects on the surface of the water and creates ever-changing, semi-abstract shapes and colours. The physical and visual movement of this water has inspired much of Orlando’s work, in particular his ongoing ‘Retina Series’ of abstract paintings. One of his main visual interests is the relationship between colours, and in his Retina paintings he explores both this phenomenon and what paint as a medium can do.
The geology of Madeira, which was formed when a volcano rose above sea level, has always been of interest to him and has led to his fascination with natural disasters. Not surprisingly, The we think of earthquakes and volcanos as destructive events, but Madeira is an example of their ability to create and shape landscapes. Inspired by these contradictory forces, Orlando is using a variety of materials to explore three-dimensional textures, sometimes within a traditional picture frame.