“Amazonia is a romantic place where lush green forest and wildlife are abundant, parakeets flutter in the trees and monkeys gamble in the dense liana. These forests are the lungs of our planet. Amazonia represents the battle of nature against our selfish aggression and greed.”
Lucy + Jorge Orta
Professor Lucy Orta was deeply inspired by an expedition she took, together with her husband and partner Jorge, to the Amazon rainforest of Peru in 2009. Recording through photography, video and sound she found it to be a beautiful oasis of diversity, in a state of crisis. Lucy + Jorge Orta’s most recent body of work, Amazonia is based on this expedition and was commissioned by the Natural History Museum contemporary art program as part of the International Year of Biodiversity, in 2010.
Amazonia is not eco-propaganda, nor does it herald an eve of destruction. The artworks restore our focus to the world around us, both its beauty and its imperilled state.
Lucy + Jorge Orta explore the fragile balance between the many thousands of species that depend on the Amazon and the cycles of life and death. They strive to revive our deep enjoyment of nature and to convey its value to our daily lives.
The new works include Collection: Aepyornis, Gallimimus, Allosaurus, Pelaeomastodon, intricate porcelain casts of dinosaur fossils from the museum’s palaeontology department and Bones, three larger than life iridescent aluminum bone sculptures. Madre de Dios – Fluvial Intervention Unit, a ‘Noah’s Arc’ pirogue crammed with hundreds of tiny animals reflected into infinity, Amazonia, a memorising diptych video, and Perpetual Amazonia S12 48 21.6 W71 24 17.6, a series of stunning large format photographs referencing the diversity of flora around the world, marked with the UTM coordinates of a hectare of land in the Amazon that the artists are hoping to save into perpetuity.