In « Totemic Sculptures – Grace Teshima Gallery Exhibit » textured paintings plus two totemic sculptures, one in canvas and one in metal, alternate with scenes of Yanomami life in the Amazon rainforest on a screen.
The elements of the two totemic sculptures: The circular shape made with branches represents the communal house of the Yanomami Indigenous people. The suspended bands represent shamanic energies that connect the Yanomami village to the sky, to heaven, to the cosmos. The sculptures are totemic because the power and ritual element of the totem in Indigenous cultures of the Americas is such a vital source.
The inspiration for my work comes from winters I’ve spent with Yanomami communities in the Amazon Rainforest. As of 2005, it’s been 9 years now, and I’m going back for the 10th year this coming winter. At first, I painted women in their hamacs with their babies, hunters with their arrows. Later, I became interested in the practices of the shaman. The village depends on them for healing and protection, for so many things, and I became fascinated by them and their work. My artwork became more and more inspired by and infused with shamanic energies which is what you see here at Grace’s.
As everyone is aware, Indigenous peoples’ existence is threatened by logging operations, by gold miners and other extractive industries – by so many rapacious outsiders, that the purpose of my work now is to speak out against the damage that’s being caused to the Rainforest constantly and the deterioration of the way of life of the Indigenous inhabitants. Little by little, my work is evolving into a dialog with the Rainforest .
Actually, It’s my way of maintaining a connexion with the Yanomami and thanking them for receiving me the way that they have over the years and welcoming me into their world. And the idea of bringing their world to my world and speaking out in occidental countries about about efforts that need to be made to help them to participate in the 21st century in their own way, preserving the environment as they always have, feels very important to me. The effort that all of us in the occident must make in order to help Indigenous peoples and preserve what remains of Nature is to boycott all products of deforestation; gold, palm oil, exotic wood, soy, beef, gemstones, etc.!
Film: Jerome Bouyer
Editing: Samantha Halfon Music: Lifelong – Anno Domini Beats
Here’s the film:
For more information about the Rainforest Art Project, please see my website here:http://www.barbaranavarro.com
And here in a blog by Palm Oil Detectives:https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/114089794/posts/3744071063
Thank you so much for appreciating my work!