Earlier this year I had a very special opportunity to travel to the Brazilian Amazon. I spent a month visiting different riverside communities and carrying out art workshops with the children and young people in those communities. The journey was made possible by Fundação Amazonas Sustentável (FAS), who granted access to these remote communities inside a reserve along the Rio Negro.
The workshops were designed to invite the children to look deeply at their local wildlife, and to teach new techniques to help them capture their own visions of the world around them. I was fascinated by these children’s relationships with the local wildlife – we heard stories about pet capybaras, the village toucan, macaws for lunch, swimming with caiman and pink dolphins, and rearing endangered baby river turtles for release back into the wild.
To round off the trip, we celebrated carnival with colourful animal masks and created a community mural… lots of children came to help paint the mural and many hands made for light work!
I am now working on an amazon animal art book – watch this space!