By Deborah De Mello, MA Fashion Futures, LCF
An evening to rethink our relationship with nature...
The “Art for the Environment: Creative Practice in the Amazon” event presented work from previous students, graduates and artists who have done the art immersion residency in the Amazon in Brazil. Being a Brazilian designer myself, I was very interested to see how they approached the Amazon rainforest and the Brazilian culture in their works. And I was very happy to find out that they all explored their residency in very different ways.
During her introduction to the residency, Lilian Fraiji, the founder and curator or Labverde Brazil, asked the audience: “How can we produce art that gives back to the Amazon rainforest?”. Throughout the entire event, that question just wouldn’t leave my mind. Because the truth is that many times, artists simply look into nature for inspiration or for raw materials. In fact, artists are not the only ones who do that. We all take many things from nature without ever giving anything in return.
As the night went by, the five artists presented their background and the projects they developed during and after their residencies. What surprised me the most was that they were all very different. The projects presented included choreography, fashion textile designs, film, sculptures, installations and music.
All of the works were very impressive. However, Renata Padovan, a sculpture and installation artist who is also from Brazil, showed a very moving film. In her short movie, we were introduced to five different women who live around the rainforest, and it was beautiful to listen to their stories. It was also very inspiring to see how passionate Renata was about all the work she has been developing around the Amazon.
After hearing from the artists, I left with the questions: how can we change our relationship with nature? Is it possible for us to stop taking so much from the Amazon, and start giving back a little? Will it be too late when we finally realize that we need to respect nature? The projects were very bold, and they all made us rethink our relationship with nature. I look forward to see what comes next from the Labverde resident students.