Life Guard Amazonia
Materials: Wooden mannequin, diverse textiles, ceramic resin hands and feet
Dimensions: 100 x 100 x 188h cm
Exhibition history: 2019 Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Museo Novencento, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy; 2016 Attenborough Art Centre, Leicester, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
Amazonia is both a real and mythological place. We are connected to its imaginary through the vision of a lush, green forest abundant with wildlife. With the highest concentration of biodiversity per square-metre, it is by far the most important living organism that humans rely on for the survival of their own species. The human figure depicted in the Amazon Life Guard has carefully assembled a colourful, diverse collection of species and laid them out on a linen tarp. Early herbalists and botanists collected plants for medicinal study purposes, and here the association with the original function of the Red Cross stretcher reminds us of the wounded body in need of treatment and care. Likewise, the Amazon rainforest, planet earth’s vital organ is under threat with consequences that will irrevocable affect the health of all living organisms.