Life Guard Amazonia
Materials: Stretcher bed, wooden mannequin, diverse textiles, ceramic resin hands and feet
Dimensions: 70w x 188l x 188h cm
Exhibition history: 2019 Museo Novencento, Florence, Italy; 2016 Attenborough Art Centre, Leicester, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
The Amazon rainforest is both a real and mythological place, a lush, green forest abundant with wildlife. It has the highest concentration of biodiversity per square-metre and is the most important living organism that humans rely on for the survival of their own species. The figure depicted in the Amazon Life Guard has carefully assembled a colourful, diverse collection of floral 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 from deforestation and climate change with consequences that will irrevocable affect the health of all living organisms.
“Amazonia has marked an important transition in our practice, which is not only aesthetic. It has become a state of mind through which we strive to revive our deep enjoyment of nature and to convey its value to our daily lives and to our survival.” Lucy