'Spirit of the Rainforest 2' Yawanawá Tribe of the Amazon Rainforest

  • "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."

    John Dyer
    Artist in residence for the Eden Project, UK.
  • “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
Why?

Why?

Tribes are key to the health and future of the rainforests around the world. 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 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.

Where & when?

Where & when?

We plan to travel to the Yawanawá tribe who live in the Acre region of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil at some point in 2019. John Dyer’s friend and fellow artist Nixiwaka Yawanawá from the tribe will be directly involved in the project and painting alongside John we hope. Nixiwaka has confirmed the tribe are happy for us to visit them and run the ‘Spirit of the Rainforest 2’ project.

What will John Dyer & Nixiwaka Yawanawá paint?

What will John Dyer & Nixiwaka Yawanawá paint?

John Dyer will be joined by Amazon Indian artist Nixiwaka Yawanawá. Together they will be exploring the deep connection between the tribe and the spirits of the rainforest.

Painting in the tribal village and the surrounding rainforest will provide a rich creative and learning experience for us all. We will experience tribal life, the rainforest plants and animals that the tribe interacts with, body painting, tribal ceremonies and music.

Outcomes

Outcomes

Through the project, we will be connecting children, using art and technology, with tribal culture, individual families in the tribe and the rainforest. They will be meeting the 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. 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 wildlife and culture we introduced them to. They can send a high-quality photo of their final paintings, collages, mixed media etc to us and we will exhibit their art online in our amazing gallery.

Following on from John Dyer’s highly successful ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ residency with Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá at the Eden Project with Survival International we will be taking this amazing project to Nixiwaka’s tribe in the Acre state of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil to make ‘Spirit of the Rainforest II’ even more powerful.

Tribal culture will be at the heart of the project. Meet the tribe and find out why tribal people are the natural custodians of the rainforest and how rich their culture, knowledge, and connection to the rainforest is.

We are currently planning ‘Spirit of the Rainforest II’ with the Yawanawá tribe and hope to be able to deliver the project during 2019.

Artist John Dyer painting with Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá at the Eden Project.

John Dyer & Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá

Artist John Dyer painting with Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá at the Eden Project.

Children connected from all over the world with the Amazon Rainforest through art

Over 1000 children from the UK, Hungary, Italy, China, Singapore and Hong Kong added their art, inspired by the ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ project, to our online art gallery
A major exhibition of the rainforest work was held at the Eden Project.

John Dyer pictured at the 'Spirit of the Rainforest' exhibition at the Eden Project

A major exhibition of the rainforest work was held at the Eden Project.
"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 Nixiwaka Yawanwá at work on his painting 'Yuxi Yuve' the Amazon Waterspirit.

“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

John Dyer and Nixiwaka Yawanawá's paintings

These paintings from the artists were painted during ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ at the Eden Project. They are the first to ever be seen in this genre of art. When we travel to the Amazon in Brazil a new set of paintings will be made and the culture, traditions, and connections to the rainforest will be explored.

BBC news footage from the 'Spirit of the Rainforest' project at the Eden Project.

As short video from the BBC showing artist John Dyer and Amazon Indian artist Nixiwaka Yawanawá at work in the rainforest biome.

View the exhibition that was held at the Eden Project including some of the Children's art

A short video of the final exhibition for ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ that was held at the Eden Project. 300 pieces of art from children from around the world formed a key part of the exhibition.

View the original 'Spirit of the Rainforest' art project

Over 1000 children, 100 teachers and schools all over the world took part in John Dyer’s first ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ art project. Find out all about that project and see the children’s work. ‘Spirit of the Rainforest II’ promises to make even stronger connections between us and tribal culture.
  • "I went round the exhibition with our Chinese delegation yesterday and they were dumbstruck by the sheer effervescence of the display. Simply marvellous."

    Sir Tim Smit, KBE
    Executive Chairman of Eden Project International and Co-Founder & Executive Vice Chair of Eden Project
'Spirit of the Rainforest' was kindly supported by The Eden Project, Survival International, Falmouth Art Gallery, Kids in Museums, Winsor

Our Supporters and Partners

‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ was kindly supported by The Eden Project, Survival International, Falmouth Art Gallery, Kids in Museums, Winsor & Newton, Jackson’s Art Supplies and Zazzle.co.uk