Into the Wild is a unique project that will send me, as an artist, to the Amazon basin in Bolivia to a crucial refuge that cares for indigenous animals that have been trafficked or captured.
It has been in the last year and a half that I have become involved in projects that utilise the visual art language to respond to and address environmental concerns. This work has clarified for me the vital place that art has today as a platform to trigger discourses around ecological concerns.
Approaches such as combining art and environmental aesthetics may be successful not only in furthering a wide range of crucial environmental goals and practices but also in fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the aesthetic potential of the world in which we live.
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 a unique and magical environment and will culminate in two exhibitions: one in Bolivia and one in the UK. Through this initiative I aim to raise awareness of the issues of the live animal trade and deforestation.
The idea for this project began 10 years ago whilst I was travelling in Bolivia in 2004. I came across Communidad Inti Wara Yassi a very special place that 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. It is a unique community, passionate and fearless about protecting and preserving a vulnerable part of the Amazon and the wildlife that belongs there.
10 years ago CIWY was then relatively young with just one refuge site, Parque Machia. I stayed and volunteered there for two weeks. Living in the jungle and helping to care for a group of capuchin monkeys, I felt that never could an experience be so removed from my life in the city and yet so familiar. It was a return to initial childhood wonder at the natural world and through this, the desire to respond to my environment instinctively and creatively.
My time there had a huge impact on me both personally and artistically, and I am incredibly excited about being able to return in a professional capacity.
To find out about how to support Into the Wild or how to get involved follow the link below: