Perpetual Amazonia (MLC Plot 00,0001 | one metre | S12 48 21.6 W71 24 17.6)
2009 - 2010
Materials: Lambda photographs backed on Dibond
Dimensions: Box framed 128 x 128 x 5cm each
Exhibition history: 2012 Espace Fondation EDF, Paris; 2010 Natural History Museum London
Courtesy: Courtesy of the Artists
During the expedition to the Peruvian Amazon in 2009, Lucy + Jorge travelled with scientists from the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at Oxford University. Together they mapped out a one-hectare plot in the rainforest. Trees and rare plants were marked for data collection and statistics on the types of botanical species were registered for scientific research programmes. This first-hand experience moved the artists to create Perpetual Amazonia - one of the key artworks in the series Amazonia – so that this hectare of land could be conserved in perpetuity, dedicated to scientific research and for the benefits we all receive from long-term forest conservation.
Perpetual Amazonia are photographs of plant species from over the world, recorded by the artists on their travels. Each photograph is marked on the bottom right-hand corner, with the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates of a single square metre within the one-hectare plot at GPS coordinates S12 48 21.6 W71 24 17.6. The plot is situated in the heart of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site and part of the Fundo Mascoitania, a 640-hectare area managed by the CREES Foundation. On acquiring a photograph, the purchaser will receive a certificate and will agree to participate in the rainforest research programmes taking place in MANU.
Today the Amazon region is also regarded as a potential tipping point – where systems may collapse. This would have a major impact not only locally, but also on a much wider area, because of the forest’s influence on regional and global climates. Our understanding of nature needs to be global; no environment can be seen in isolation. The Amazon region may be many travel hours away from Europe but our influence on climates and biodiversity starts in our daily lives in the consumer choices we make. Bergit Arends, curator of contemporary art at the Natural History Museum London.
Perpetual Amazonia helps us understand the need to conserve forests and wildlife all over the world. As one of the lungs of the planet, forests help us to breathe. Lucy Orta