Spirit of the Rainforest
With the Yawanawá Tribe of the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest and the tribes who live there are vital to us all
Schools & children are invited to ‘travel’ with the Last Chance to Paint team, deep into the Amazon Rainforest, to meet the Yawanawá tribe. Paint alongside artist John Dyer and exhibit on the World Gallery to highlight what we all stand to lose. Discover the spirits and culture of the rainforest and investigate rainforest science with our superb free teaching resources. An extraordinary, interactive project to inspire and connect children to our natural world.
“The destruction of our rainforest land is terrible, because the forest is alive. It is our life, and the animals’ life. We don’t separate our existence from it, we are all one body and one being: the plants, water, trees and Yawanawá. 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.”
Nixiwaka Yawanawá, Amazon Indian Artist
Your class can 'travel' to the Amazon now
Our downloadable resources are primarily designed for Key Stage 2 but are easily adaptable for all Key Stages with links to Art and Design, Geography, Science, English, SMSC and Citizenship curricula. They are also great for parents to use with their children.
Five lessons and full teacher notes
Rainforests and the tribes that live in them are under extreme threat. Tribes are key to the health and future of the rainforests around the world and consequently the health of our planet and climate. Their tribal ceremonies and deep connection to the rainforest has created a visual and musical culture that hasn’t been widely explored yet. A new genre of art to discover and for your children to connect to. "Long before the word 'conservation' was coined, tribal peoples developed highly effective measures for maintaining the richness of their environment. They have sophisticated codes of conservation to stop overhunting and preserve biodiversity." Survival International.
Artist John Dyer, musician Martha-Lilly Dyer and explorers Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE and Merlin Hanbury-Tenison travelled to the Yawanawá tribe, who live in the Acre region of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, in June 2019. Permission was given by the tribe and also by FUNAI, the government department in Brazil that is involved with indigenous peoples. John Dyer’s friend, Amazon Indian artist Nixiwaka Yawanawá was involved in the project and painted alongside John. ‘Procreate – Spirit of the Rainforest’ started on June 3rd when the team left London. The team travelled by canoe on the Rio Gregório, to the tribal village of Mutum, on June 5th. Between June 5th and June 13th satellite communications allowed schools to ask questions and we uploaded blogs and video each day to inspire children across the world to connect to tribal culture and the environment. You can watch these videos and read our blogs to give your class a sense of ‘being in the moment’ with ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ and make sure to join us ‘LIVE’ on future chapters of the project.
What do we want you to do?
We want you to use the art of John Dyer, Nixiwaka Yawanawá and the Yawanawá children, combined with our video diary, music we recorded, photographs and blogs to immerse your school and children in the subject of the rainforest. Encourage them to reflect, connect and to then create their own piece of rainforest inspired art based on plants, tribal people or animals and to upload it to our WorldGallery.online. Help us to make real connections between peoples and to create the largest online art gallery of art celebrating the natural world. View the ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ gallery now and get ready to upload your children’s art.
What do the Yawanawá children say?
What are the outcomes?
Through this project, you are connecting children with tribal culture & the Amazon rainforest. We hope that this will create a personal connection and bond to the rainforest and generate amazing pieces of art and lots of questions. Once a child feels they have a personal connection to the rainforest then we have enabled that child to have reasons to tread gently on planet earth as they grow, become a careful consumer and make good decisions for our world. Art is a fantastic way to achieve this and it can give every child a reason to be better than the previous generation as they won't want to damage the rainforest which is the home of Nixiwaka and his family. We want every child involved to create their own piece of amazing art on the theme of ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ that is inspired by the Amazon paintings of John Dyer and Nixiwaka Yawanawá and the animals, plants and people we introduce them to. You should upload high-quality photos of their final paintings, collages, mixed media etc to us and we will exhibit their art online in the World Galley.
Meet Nixiwaka Yawanawá
John Dyer first met Nixiwaka in 2015 and arranged with the Eden Project for them to spend ten days painting in the rainforest biome together so they could learn from each other. In this video Nixiwaka talks about the importance of the rainforest and how important it is to connect children to it and how they can connect through art. We hope you find it inspiring.
Your children's art on the World Gallery
Let your children bear witness to what we are all doing to the planet and creatively protest, have a voice, connect and highlight what we all stand to lose by exhibiting their personal artwork inspired by our projects on the World Gallery.