Living With Cork

Cork oak forests are one of the most important ecosystems in the world for preserving biodiversity. Harvesting cork ensures that these forests are well taken care of.


The Kinnara Fund presents the Preview for the Annual Bio-Art Exhibition Living With Cork at the yearly festival Montras, which translates in English to “Store Windows”. The event occurs in the town of São Luís Portugal with it’s magical cork oak forests.

The decline of cork forests not only threatens the livelihoods of the people who depend on them, but also the climate and biodiversity of the ecosystem.  Since the subject matter is the cork forest ecosystem, it is fitting that Living with Cork premieres in Portugal’s Alentejo region, which produces more than half of the world’s cork supply.

The exhibition, Living With Cork, features a cork labyrinth composed of sculpted capsules evoking the touch, smells and visuals of the cork ecosystem. The bio-art piece consisting of sculpted capsules are
created by Marta de Menezes, a Portuguese artist who grew up in the Alentejo region.  The exhibition,  also features installations, utilizing harvested cork, with the works of American designer Robert Marinelli. Robert’s creations will be immersed in Marta’s cork labyrinth.  Robert’s inspired collection of furniture and objects, intertwine with Marta’s bio-art capsules, symbolizing the creation, its source and their inter-dependency.


Viver com


The decline of cork forests not only has significant implications for cork growing regions, but also for the planet.


The decline of cork oak forests and their
ecosystems, along with its cross-border climate change implications can be viewed as a bioethics issue, specifically within the realm of environmental ethics.

Bioethics, which explores ethical issues related to life, health, and the environment, encompasses considerations of inter-generational justice, environmental justice, and the responsible stewardship of natural resources. In the context of cork oak forests, the ethical concerns revolve around the moral responsibility to preserve and protect these ecosystems for future generations, ensuring equitable distribution of benefits and costs, and respecting the rights of communities reliant on these forests.

Legal aspects related to accountability and international trade further contribute to the bioethics dimensions of this issue. Thus, the decline of cork forests raises important bio-ethical questions about our moral obligations towards the environment and the diverse life forms it sustains.


The artists


Marta de Menezes is a Portuguese artist, with a Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Lisbon and a MSt from the University of Oxford. De  Menezes is director of Cultivamos Cultura, the leading institution devoted to experimental art in Portugal and Ectopia, dedicated to facilitate the collaborative work between artists and scientists. Marta de Menezes has worked in the intersection of art and biology since the late 90s, in the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, and Portugal, exploring the conceptual and aesthetic opportunities offered by biological sciences for visual representation in the arts.


Robert Marinelli is an American designer and artist recognized for creating distinctive furnishings, objects and interior spaces. His work is both sculptural and functional, dissolving the boundaries between seemingly distinct disciplines of art, interior design and architecture. His creations are inspired by nature, yet push the limits of design by exploring new technologies and collaborations with artisans. His designs have been  featured in media outlets, including Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, Wallpaper, Departures, Luxe Magazine, The World of Interiors, and 1st dibs Introspective.

Tour the exhibition


A Look Inside the EXHIBITION

“The Ecosystem” explored by Marta de Menezes, and “Post Harvest” installations, utilizing cork by Robert Marinelli, is featured in this space.

The exhibition features inspired collection of objects immersed in a cork labyrinth.  Featuring Robert’s inspired collection of furniture and objects, intertwined with Marta’s bio-art capsules, symbolizing the creation, its source and their inter-dependency.