A residency at a remote animal sanctuary in the Amazon, creating artwork to form two environmental art-themed exhibitions.
Into the wild
This is a project that will send me, as an artist, to the Amazon basin in Bolivia to a crucial sanctuary that cares for indigenous animals that have been trafficked or captured. My aim is to push my artistic boundaries, transporting my studio into the wild. The work I produce on the residency will be a response to this unique and magical environment and will culminate in two exhibitions: one in Bolivia and one, on my return to the UK, in Brighton. To fund the project I need to cover the costs of travel, transporting the artwork and buying the materials necessary to create it, and arranging the exhibitions - and this is where I'm asking for your help.
I've been offered a place on the artist in residence program at Communidad Inti Wara Yassi for this coming Autumn. The residency is a new initiative and will last two months. I'll be working closely with the directors and trustees of the park.
Whilst there I'll be based at Ambue Ari which is a large 800 hectare reserve, designated as an ideal location to care for felines ( jaguars, pumas and ocelots). There are also howler monkeys, birds, and a number of other mammals including two tapirs called Tony and Herbie.
The exhibitions will be a platform for exchanging different cultural perspectives on art and environment. My work will explore among other things how art and conservation exert influence over each other.
Currently my work examines ideas surrounding our relationship to the natural world and place within it.
Communidad Inti Wara Yassi
It is a very special place and was the pioneer of the environmental movement in Bolivia. Run by Bolivian professionals and international volunteers, it is recognised internationally for the three centres that rescue and rehabilitate wild animals. The land is part-owned by the government and part by the charity. C.I.W.Y is a unique community, passionate and fearless about protecting and preserving a vulnerable part of the Amazon and the wildlife that belongs there.
C.I.W.Y was founded through the practice of environmental education and continues to be dedicated to this.
Art, through engaging the senses, can be a unique catalyst in developing a sense of wonder about nature and seeing it afresh as if for the first time. Whilst there I want to channel this by running a series of workshops in the local communities, for all ages but especially aimed at children. We will explore our concerns and different perspectives through creating visual pieces.
An example idea is a series of Land art workshops in which environmental sculptures could be made using only found materials and natural elements - these would be completely temporary, degrading with the passing of time and leaving no trace.
The workshops will be collaborative; I won't presume that what I can offer will precede the local people’s knowledge or experience of the place. Collaborating will provide an opportunity for others to contribute to the exhibitions.
Me and C.I.W.Y
I first became aware of C.I.W.Y nearly 10 years ago when I was travelling through Latin America and Bolivia. I volunteered at the sanctuary for several weeks. Living in the jungle with a group of capuchin monkeys, I realised that never could an experience be at once so removed from my life in the city and yet so familiar. It was a return to an initial childhood wonder at the natural world.
I fell in love - with the country, the park community, and of course the monkeys. I have been dreaming about going back for a decade. Alot's happened in that time: I've painted, taken a million photographs, become a teacher, sat in my studio thinking a fair bit and drank about 10,950 cups tea whilst doing it.
My time there had a huge impact upon me, and on my return to London it affected the direction and subject matter of my work. It took some years to realise the validity of this as something beyond an incredible travelling experience.
Being based at C.I.W.Y will enable and challenge me to explore experientially critical themes in my work in an environment that challenges and supports them.
The exhibition in Brighton will be hosted by the ONCA gallery, and will include several other artists. The work will be a response to the live animal trade. ONCA Gallery is a permanent space that hosts unique exhibitions, events, workshops and arts based educational programs themed around environmental issues.
Bolivia's topography is as extraordinarily diverse as it is beautiful, from western highlands in the Andes to eastern lowlands that include Amazon rainforest. Tragically one-third of the Andean glaciers have melted, and a further third are expected to melt in the next 10 years.
The countries immediate future is dependent on finding solutions and it is at the forefront of environmental debates. In its most counter-conventional move to date, the rights of Pachamama - Mother Earth - have been enshrined in national law. The law is influenced by a resurgent Indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity at the center of all life. In the indigenous philosophy, the Pachamama is a living being and humans are equal to it. This biocentric view is one that is making world history. It establishes a new relationship between man and nature. The laws will be the world's first granting all nature equal rights to humans. These policies promote sustainability and control industry.
I am planning for the exhibition in Bolivia to be held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, which is the industrial capital and most important business center. This will also be collaborative, a combination of work produced on the residency and as a result of the workshops.
Rewards for your help and support...
If there is something I have not listed in the rewards over to the right that would appeal to you, then please get in touch.
- A selection of photographic portraits of your choice and in different sizes, taken by me at C.I.W.Y. Think Pumas, Jaguars, Monkeys, Ocelots, Sloths...
- An original pencil drawing, or print of - created whilst at C.I.W.Y, signed and dated
- A beautiful original A4 watercolour completed whilst at C.I.W.Y
- An original oil painting, or print of, in various dimensions
- A commission. We can discuss options for a bespoke painting commission, various sizes are available.
Please have a look at my website for more examples of my work
If you like the sound of my project but can't pledge please share with your friends. Thankyou!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This venture will be demanding and challenging in a number of ways, I am pushing many boundaries, personal, creative, physical, and emotional.
At some point I might get :
Tired, I am a light sleeper and not used to the jungle noises.
Homesick, as I have never lived in the Amazon before and it is quite different to Clapton or Bournemouth.
I might get a bit lonely, for more human company.
I have to face the fact that I may get ill and possibly even bitten (definately by a plethora of insects, hopefully not by a carnivore or a human).
More importantly I have considered the practicalities of having a temporary studio based in the jungle, how to store and transport artwork and how to change the way I work accordingly. This challenge is one of the main reasons I am going and will inform the work.
The risks are nothing I am not able or willing to solve or endure. They will go towards creating a story, forming ideas and fueling my inspiration.
But it would be wonderful to know that I have your backing and support whilst I am there.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge £5 or moreYou selected
As well as a big thank you I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £10 or moreYou selected
On my return you can choose two 5 x 7 " photographic portraits of the animals that I have met. See the furry faces over to the left for inspiration. Think monkeys, pumas, ocelots, jaguars etc. If you decide you want more than two thats ok too! And of course a big thankyou.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £15 or moreYou selected
The same as above but 10 x 8 " size. And a big thankyou.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £20 or moreYou selected
A hand-drawn postcard with a written personal message, posted to you from C.I.W.Y. You'll be able to frame the drawing after if you wish - I'll spend some time on it, as i will have a lot of that in the jungle. As well as a big thank you, I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £25 or moreYou selected
I will send you an original postcard sized watercolour, with a written personal message on the back and post it to you from C.I.W.Y. As well as a big thank and I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £50 or moreYou selected
A tailored hour-long one-to-one tutorial in painting/drawing techniques or digital photography. This can take place in my studio. I will also send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £60 or moreYou selected
On my return you can choose from a variety of images of artworks that I have produced on the residency to be made into a limited edition A2 (23.4 x 16.5 in) poster. This could be a photograph or a reproduction of an artwork such as a drawing or a painting. I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £95 or moreYou selected
You will get an original A4 pencil drawing, created whilst at CIWY, signed and dated. As well as a big thank you I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £150 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)
A series of four hour-long one-to-one tutorials in either digital photography or drawing/painting techniques. These can take place in my studio.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £250 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)
An original A4 watercolour completed at C.I.W.Y, signed and dated. As well as a big thank you, I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)
An original oil painting, on board or canvas, 6 x 8 in. As well as a big thank you, I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £950 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)
An original oil painting created in response to the residency. The size of the painting will be up to 20 x 20 in. You will also get an Invitation to the private view at Onca gallery in Brighton where you will be able to see your painting on display. As well as this I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £1,400 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
If you are willing and able to pledge £1,400 then an original framed oil painting is yours. You can come to my studio in East London and over a cuppa select your painting. It can be a previous work not completed as part of the residency - anything that catches your eye up to 24 x 24 inches. Then I will take you for lunch at the organic cafe around the corner or if you come in the evening we can go for a local Hackney brewed ale at the trendy pub. As well as a big thank you and I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip.Estimated delivery:
Pledge £2,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
An oil painting commission. A visit to my studio if geographically possible or otherwise an in depth discussion via phone/skype outlining your ideas and preferences for the painting: colours, and subject matter etc. The price of £2,500 is specific to 36 x 36 inches, but another size and price option is possible to discuss. As well as a big thank you and I will send you regular email updates of how I am getting along, with images and stories from the trip. Oh and lunch or a drink at the trendy pub as above!Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)