Legends of the Amazon
Museu da Casa Brasileira, Sao Paulo
Set against the backdrop of the Amazon river and Tropical Rainforest “Legends of the Amazon” is an exhibition of critical importance. It offers a vision of a tropical Eden and at the same time is inserted into a reality of the world in defence of this most beautiful region of the planet, the ecological heritage of mankind.
The oral tradition of the Brazilian Indian, exemplified in myth and legend, is rich and compelling. Like all aboriginal peoples the Amazonian Indian has always used myths to explain natural phenomena, to entertain children, to provide a moral fabric and to preserve the meanings of a rich and exotic past. This is their cultural legacy.
The exhibition comprises 30 paintings and three large panel installations. Several of the legends are reproduced and an ambient soundtrack was specially recorded by Steve Hackett of British rock group Genesis to reflect and complement the mood of the legends and paintings. The exhibition has already appeared at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro and in the Museu da Casa Brasileira in São Paulo. An installation from the exhibition – the Resurrection Wall – was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Ostend and part of the work at the Frissiras Museum in Athens during the Olympics there.
The paintings are created using Poor’s original technique of fusing layers of finely ground glass mixed with natural pigments onto steel plates. These are fired at very high temperatures, up to forty times, creating images that are as luminous as butterfly wings. Salvador Dali christened her technique “Diaphanism”.
“My inspiration here emerged from the myths and legends of the Amazonian Indians - a vision of a tropical Eden that inhabits our dreams and at the same time points to a sad reality that threatens to destroy one of the most beautiful and ecologically important regions of this Earth. The reinterpretation of beauty through harmonious development and integration between human beings and nature has to become our eternal theme. True beauty is found in the human spirit.”
Photos: Vicente de Mello