Over three weeks in Floripa I produced a body of work that investigates “the landscape of experience” of the East Coast of Brazil through the lens of how the Atlantic Ocean has shaped and moulded both the physical topography and the human experience of the land. The work that examined the differences and similarities of two distinct locations, who share an ocean. The series of paintings I created combined colours, textures and marks to formed a vocabulary which expressed my discovery of the geography and perspectives of Brazil. The residency gave me time to critically engage with artists pursuing work that pushes the boundaries of how we perceive our landscapes.
The conversation in Brazil surrounding environment and landscape was a strong reminder of the precarious ecological situation we are facing. The stark reality I faced while in Brazil opened a huge amount of questions about my role as an artist, and my responsibility to create work that challenges my audience to change their perspectives. This led to a deep reflection of the sustainability of my work. On a practical level I was forced to examine the tools and materials I use to create my work. Nogalina is a dry mixture of ground walnut shell and is a material which is used through indigenous populations and body paint, and as a wood preservative. It is extracted from between the top two layers of the Walnut. It is water soluble, and is easily prepared. The simplicity of this material juxtaposed against acrylic marked a moment of clarity. I continued to explore this material, which informed the work I was making in response to the landscape of Brazil. The works the emerged from this new exploration were specific to that moment, and that place.
The works were exhibited at NaCasa alongside the work of Fellipe Lopes, who is an incredibly talented photographer ad filmmaker from Brazil, and also happens to be my partner. I know, who better to travel with than a native! This was the first time we worked together in this capacity - sharing a studio and working simultaneously on new works. We have entirely different aesthetics and mediums, which lead to two totally different outlooks on what we were both percieving while we travelled and explored the landscapes of Santa Catarina. The work was exhibited side by side which invited the viewer to explore each of our our distinct experiences of the landscape.