Date: 
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 16:00

Two artists from opposite sides of the globe are teaming up to encourage a new generation of artists to create works inspired by the rainforest.

John Dyer, the Eden Project’s painter in residence, and Nixiwaka Yawanawá, an Amazonian Indian artist, are working together in Eden’s Rainforest Biome, the largest captive rainforest in the world, to create a series of new paintings, collectively called Spirit of the Rainforest.

The artists are inviting children from around the world to submit their own works inspired by the rainforest, with the best being chosen to be displayed among the plants in the Rainforest Biome. Every piece submitted will be displayed on a dedicated page on the Eden Project’s website, which can be accessed via www.edenproject.com/spirit-of-the-rainforest.

John and Nixiwaka begin their residency on Monday May 4 and will be painting in the Rainforest Biome until Friday May 15. Young artists can submit their work online from June 1, 2015 and the best of these will be displayed in the Rainforest Biome alongside John and Nixiwaka’s work from October 17.

Jo Elworthy, Eden’s interpretation director, said: “We are delighted and honoured to host this residency between internationally renowned Cornish artist, John Dyer and Amazonian Indian artist, Nixiwaka Yawanawá.

“The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world. Spirit of the Rainforest embodies this message on so many levels. The conservation of the rainforest is vital for all of our futures. This residency working with children from across the UK communicates this message using celebration, art and global connections. A huge thank you to everyone taking part.” 

Nixiwaka Yawanawá is a Yawanawá Indian from the Brazilian Amazon. He is working with the charity Survival International to raise awareness of the Amazon and to speak out for tribal peoples’ rights.

Nixiwaka said: "When we see harm come to the rainforest, it is as if a part of our own body has been hurt. It feels like an illness that rises up in us and needs to be cured."

John Dyer is one of the UK's most exciting and well known postmodern painters. His work is collected internationally and his paintings have been the subject of popular television programmes and a wide range of merchandise.

John said: "The rainforest is a vital part of our lives and our future. We don't all realise this yet but the tribal people of the Amazon know it. By engaging children with the rainforest through art I hope it will build a lifelong concern and connection to the environment.

“When I travelled to the Amazon in 1989 as a photographer with Thames TV I was inspired. Inspired by the beauty and inspired to paint. I have painted ever since.”

Spirit of the Rainforest is being produced in partnership with Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights. Survival helps them defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures. www.survivalinternational.org

Eden and Survival most recently worked together on the People of the Rainforest photographic exhibition. Stunning pictures of tribal people of the rainforest taken by Cornish explorer and writer Robin Hanbury-Tenison and the world-renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado have been on display in Eden’s Rainforest Biome since October last year.

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