Amazon Aid is honored to be a part of Beyond Conservation, a residency that unites scientists and artists, curated by Studio Verde in partnership with the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER) and Amazon Aid Foundation.
Through critique and collaborative engagement, participants in the Beyond Conservation program explore ways to understand, represent, and arrive at creative solutions to the issues facing Amazonia. Its interdisciplinary approach combines artists’ abilities to transcend barriers with scientists’ unique skills to collect and translate data to deepen our understanding of the natural world.
Many artists from around the world applied – all incredibly talented – to take part in the curated and intimate residency which is currently taking place in the Peruvian Amazon. We look forward to sharing what happens there and to developing more artist opportunities in the future.
Here are the chosen participants for this incredible program:
Aaron Terry teaches Printmaking in traditional and non-traditional methods, including digital and non-toxic approaches to printing methods. Terry’s work dances between sculptural, sonic and printed materials that present visual allegories of personal politics embedded in the color, flash and cadence of today’s rapid-fire media parade. Appropriated and collaged content recalls, recasts and invokes history, while presenting a shared negotiation of memory. Sourcing from sound bites, album covers, and news media, the work resurrects new conversations with old ghosts, and questions the potential for a better future. Much of Terry’s work is informed by his study of printmaking’s role in the politics and propaganda of the last century and how that relates to the role of art in today’s political climate.
Anja Zachau is a German designer based in Copenhagen. She works at the intersection of design, science, and strategy. She works on concepts in the field of social and environmental sustainability and uses design as a bridge between theory and practice. As a design strategist, she makes the complex tangible.
Angélica Mishaja is an Ese ‘Eja artisan from the Native community of Infierno. She has a special relationship to nature and holds an enormous amount of knowledge and respect of the forest she comes from in the Madre de Dios region. Angelica is an expert in wood carving. She approaches her work in a sustainable way, she says she would never cut a tree down for her material and instead uses the wood left by loggers, to honor the forest through her art and her craft which she dedicates to the animals of the Amazon rainforest in the region where she was born and lives. She is also an expert in natural dying and weaving using Tamishi fiber from the vine and fibers from Palma de bombonaje.
Chris Tigra is a Brazilian artist who works with plural languages, investigating human urgencies and urban listening. From a deep curiosity with the world and a critical involvement with it, the artist dialogues with art as a culture of activism in search of social transformation, that’s why she concentrates much of her productions on marginalized situations, experiences and universes.
Felipe Castelblanco is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher working at the intersection of participatory, film, and Media Art. His work explores institutional forms, creates platforms for inter-epistemic dialogue, and engages unlikely audiences in remote places. Felipe holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and earned a Ph.D. from the Kunstuniversität Linz and the Make/Sense Graduate School, exploring avenues for epistemic justice in the Colombian Pan-Amazon region. In 2015 he served as a Cultural Emissary for the U.S State Department to the Philippines, through which he developed an ambitious participatory project around inter-cultural diplomacy at sea.
Henry Ortiz is a visual artist with anthropology of art studies and a master’s degree candidate in art & education. His project, which has a multidisciplinary scope, focuses on the study of pre-Columbian technologies such as basketry, textiles and ceramic. He researches issues of ritual, multiculturalism and education in the South American territory. For the development of contemporary art he specializes in the use of various plant fibers with a sustainable approach. As a result, he has explored various languages and materialities, including graphic art, installations and South American indigenous crafts. He intends to call into question the hegemonic categories in which the local arts are placed, as well as the liminal fields of these practices concerning the fine arts or media that have been approved by the academic establishment.
Ilaria Mazzoleni is an architect and founder of IM Studio Milano/Los Angeles. Her professional and academic focus is on sustainable architecture at all scales of design, and on biomimicry, where design innovation is inspired by the processes and functions of nature. Her conceptual work has been published globally and her built work can be found in Italy, California, and Ghana. Gaining attention in the fields of sustainable architecture and biomimicry has led to Ilaria’s increasing participation and contribution in multiple international magazines, conferences and workshops. Since 2005, she has also been a full-time faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.
Pablo Serret de Ena is a Spanish multidisciplinary artist and independent filmmaker, based in Copenhagen. A permeable body of work around topics such exploration, identity, boundaries, error… and the direct relationship with our digital and natural environments. For the past years he has been specifically concerned about how to include ecological narratives within a critical art practice, embedded throughout the whole process. Sustainable ways of narrating and producing art, of living and co-existence. He is also very interested in the strategies used by science to build and organize knowledge. Concepts like evidence, observation, measurement, perception of space and time… are being incorporated to his approach to art from a poetic perspective.
Rosario Soria is a talented Ese Eja Artisan and a member of the native community of Palma Real. Rosário has a deep traditional knowledge of plants and harvests her materials from the forest. She has become an expert in weaving techniques using Tamshi vine fibers, and learned the different types and effects they have. She has taught her twelve year old daughter the whole process of production from harvesting, cooking, drying, dying and weaving and Rosario now says she is learning more techniques from her. Rosarios knowledge of natural dyes is extensive and she finds her colors from roots, bark, leaves and seeds to dye the fibers.
Amazon Aid Foundation’s Artist for The Amazon program was founded with the belief that artists are pivotal in creating awareness about the Amazon’s sheer beauty and biodiversity, as well as the horrors of its destruction. Additionally, artists inspire actions to encourage protection and preservation, through their art – be it visual mediums, written word, film or music.