A UNIQUE CULTURAL EXCHANGE

Artists John Dyer & Nixiwaka Yawanawá

ART EXHIBITION

John Dyer &

Nixiwaka Yawanawá

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Opens 17th October 2015

BRITISH ARTIST

John Dyer

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THE EDEN PROJECT

Two Creative Cultures Brought Together

In the World's largest Captive Rainforest

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AMAZON INDIAN

Nixiwaka Yawanawá

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Photo Credit: epa european pressphoto agency b.v. / Alamy

INTERNATIONAL ART PROJECT

Connecting Children to

The Rainforest & Tribal People

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© Yawanawá

Connect to Tribal People

And the Rainforest

THROUGH ART COMES UNDERSTANDING

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John Dyer & Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá
Exhibition of Paintings Inspired by the Spirit of the Rainforest

Venue: The Eden Project

Exhibition Continues: October 18th 2015 to January 8th 2016

During May 2015 the Eden Project hosted a unique cultural collaboration between British artist John Dyer and Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá. Supported by Survival International this project has resulted in a spectacular exhibition of large paintings and a rare glimpse into a new genre of Amazon Rainforest Tribal Art.



Every morning Nixiwaka would enter the rainforest biome at the Eden Project alone. I encouraged him to do this so that he could have space and silence to connect spiritually with the plants. He would locate a place in the rainforest for us to paint and that he felt connected to. At the start of each painting Nixiwaka explained the spiritual connections and visions related to the painting we would embark upon. 

I have enabled Nixiwaka to bring the Yawanawá tribe's Amazon Indian art to a new audience, to give this spectacular genre of art a platform and quite literally a canvas to live upon. Traditionally the bodies and faces of the Yawanawá themselves are their canvases, the paintings and designs they draw onto each other bring the power of the spirits to them. This use of line and bold geometric colour has shone through in Nixiwaka's paintings. For my paintings I allowed the plants surrounding me to form key elements of my compositions. I combined these with the spiritual animals and plants connected to each spirit & story that Nixiwaka told me. 

There is a great strength and history to the Amazon spirits and Yawanawá people. I have taken great care to pay respect to these in my paintings. I have created a fusion of both cultures in my paintings & I hope this will open the door to another world, to the paintings of Nixiwaka Yawanawá & to the ultimate story of how tribal people are the most important custodians of the rainforest around the world.

John Dyer 2015



Rare - Spiritual rebirth

          

Above (top/left) : By John Dyer. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas £3500 Buy this paintingAvailable as a Signed Print.

Above: By Nixiwaka Yawanawá. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas SOLD



This painting represents the spiritual rebirth of a person who experiences the Yawanawa initiation into becoming a Shamen. The ceremony begins with the root of Rare a sacred plant considered by the Yawanawa to be the most powerful plant of the Rainforest. It invokes the spirit Vana who is considered to be the owner of all the plants and the most powerful spirit in the Rainforest. The ceremony to become a Shaman involves the person in undertaking a diet where he abstains from specific things and focuses on his spirituality for a period that could be as long as six months when he is alone in the Rainforest apart from being watched over by his Shamen mentor. The plants are the door to the spiritual world. The ceremony makes the connection with the spirits and the person is transformed into a spiritual being able to see visions, heal and guide the tribe as a Shamen. 

Nixiwaka Yawanawá

The figure at the centre of my painting symbolises not only the spirit Vana but the Yawanawá themselves. The sacred plants feature in the painting alongside one of the most powerful animals in the rainforest, the Jaguar. The Jaguar symbolises power. The humming bird and Amazon butterflies create a biodiverse image that when combined with the amazing plant forms you find in the Amazon and at the Eden Project create a feeling of shared energy and vitality. The Yawanawá tribe are the custodians of their piece of the Amazon and their energy and life is a natural part of the ecosystem. We all need to respect the careful balance of the rainforest and I hope through these paintings our thoughts and actions will be reborn.

John Dyer

Yuxi Yuve - The Water Spirit of the Amazon Rainforest

Water Spirit of the Amazon          

Above (top/left) : By John Dyer. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas £3500 SOLD. Available as a Signed Print.

Above: By Nixiwaka Yawanawá. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas SOLD



These paintings depict the Spirit of Water who lives in the depths of the great rivers of the Rainforest. Yuxi Yuve is a beautiful woman with long flowing hair, down which water cascades, forging a link connecting the Spirit with all the rivers and everything that is supported in and by the water. She is the Lady of the Waters and is a powerful spirit that looks after all the living things, plants, animals and fish that inhabit the river. She appears in visions to the Yawanawa when they have a ceremony that invokes her force in order to teach them about the spiritual forces that live in the water. She connects the world of the river to the tribe showing its importance to their life as part of nature. 

Nixiwaka Yawanawá

The Water Spirit Yuxi Yuve has a real connection for me, she evokes not only the water cylcle of the rainforest but also has echoes of Mermaids, stories and Spirits in our own culture. Nixiwaka selected the Amazon plants around the waterfall at the Eden Project for us to work with so it was natural for me to create a circular composition with the waterfall forming Yuxi Yuve's hair. The Boa Constrictor features as the power of the rainforest. It is one of the most revered animals of the rainforest. I have included Amazon fish in the water and rainforest butterflies too. Many of the plant forms in the painting are painted from life using the plants at Eden as reference. My painting has a cyclical energy that echoes the natural cycle of life.

John Dyer


Vana - The Spirit of our Shadows

          

Above (top/left) : By John Dyer. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas £3500 SOLD. Available as a Signed Print.

Above: By Nixiwaka Yawanawá. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas SOLD



These paintings represent the very powerful Vana spirits. They are the guardian angels that protect us from bad things and as such are seen as the Spirit of our own shadow. Only the Shamans can see and talk to them in ceremonies which involve Ayahuasca, a sacred drink to the Yawanawa. The spirits guide the visions in the ceremonies so that they can find their personal Vana. My painting is the vision of my Aunt, a Shaman, which I originally drew from her description. It is therefore a unique, powerful and emotional image.

Nixiwaka Yawanawá

In British culture shadows are often used as ominous devices, but the realisation that the spirit of ones own shadow is a protector and guardian angel is enlightening. The power of the spirit is indicated by the Boa Constrictors and I have painted with intense colours and contrasts to evoke the rainforest exploding with energy and light from the shadows. My Vana spirit sits at the center of the composition radiating energy and protection. Rainforest butterflies, Macaws and spiders are used througout the painting. The energy that lives in us is the same energy that connects all living things and this energy radiates from the canvas.

John Dyer

The Creation of Uni (Ayahuasca)

          

Above (top/left) : By John Dyer. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas £3500 Buy this paintingAvailable as a Signed Print.

Above: By Nixiwaka Yawanawá. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas

These paintings represent how death came to the world and was overcome through the discovery of the vine called by the Yawanawá, Uni and by tribes all over the world as Ayahuasaca. At one time people were not mortal. A bad spirit cursed a Shaman who became the first person to die and he was buried.Later his son had a dream in which his father came to him to say that he was still alive but in a different form. He asked that his son should, after a period of time, visit the place where he was buried and that he would find a plant. In his dream he was instructed by his father how to make a sacred drink using the plant. When his son returned to the burial ground he discovered a vine that had grown from all the joints of the Shaman’s body. Following the instructions he mixed the leaves (Ravante) with the root of the Uni and created the sacred drink which, in ceremonies that continue today, allows the tribe to connect with their ancestors in the Spirit world.

Nixiwaka Yawanawá

This painting captures so much about the Rainforest that I know and understand but in the context of one of the most fundamental and historic stories of the Yawanawá tribe. The Shaman is buried in the rainforest and from his energy new life emerges, in the form of medicinal plants. These plants allow the tribe to reconnect to the Shaman and this story of the cycle of energy underpins the cycle of life, death and rebirth. It is in so many ways a painting of balance and I have featured the Yawanawá tribe at the center of my painting as they rejoice in this energy that comes from the rainforest. Tribes all over the Amazon know of Ayahuasca and have a shared knowledge of this even though this knowledge is not from direct contact with each other. The knowledge comes through the spirits.

John Dyer

Nawê

          

Above (top/left) : By John Dyer. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas £3500 SOLD. Available as a Signed Print.

Above: By Nixiwaka Yawanawá. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas

These paintings represent the combining of the two most powerful animals of the Amazon rainforest, the Boa Constrictor and Jaguar. These animals are respected by the Yawanawa for their power and danger. Their combination is undertaken by two Shamens in a sacred ritual. This connection of the Shamens with nature and the Spiritual Universe, evokes all the spirits of the forest and the animals, represented by the vision of joining these two powerful animals together. The ritual combines Uni, the Yawanawa name for the Ayahuasca vine, with Nawê made from the medicinal plant Tsunu. It is a sacred ritual which makes a connection through the Shamen, that creates a healing and protecting process for the tribe, the Rainforest, and the Spiritual World that exists beyond our material world.

Nixiwaka Yawanawá

This painting captures a vision that Nixiwaka Yawanawá had during a tribal ceremony in the Amazon. Nixiwaka described to me how the two most powerful animals of the rainforest appeared, the Boa Constrictor and the Jaguar.  These two spirit animals then merged into one animal that was the combination of both spirits. This then transformed into a tribal spirit that connected and exploded its energy to every part of the rainforest. By using a circular composition and by interconnecting the bold shapes and colours of the plants I hope I have created an energetic and vibrant rainforest image that pulls your focus towards the center through the snake and Jaguar to the tribal ceremony that is taking place. The Amazon river flows in the background and the vine used in Ayahuasca grows throughout the painting. For me this is a very powerful image of the Spirit of the Rainforest.

John Dyer

Kênê - Body Painting

Paxiti          Kene

Above (top/left) : By John Dyer. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas £3500 SOLD.

Above: By Nixiwaka Yawanawá. 1 meter x 1 meter acrylic on canvas

The Yawanawa people use body painting represented by the Kênê. Since time immemorial, we have used Kênê to celebrate traditional feasts and ceremonies and also within our daily life. When we paint our bodies we are gracing ourselves, staying beautiful and become protected from disease. The spirit of the Kênê lady appears in visions during Uni - Ayahuasca ceremonies. We receive the paintings and practice these among the people of the tribe as a way of learning through the spiritual world. 


Nixiwaka Yawanawá



Body painting is a fundamental part of tribal culture. The Yawanawá use Paxiti (red annatto seeds) to create the paint they use. By using natural colour from the rainforest and by painting patterns derived from nature on each others bodies the tribe become one with nature as they sing and dance in their ceremonies. It was because of body painting that the Spirit of the Rainforest Project was possible as this gave Nixiwaka a natural eye and use of line for him to translate onto canvases and for him to inform my work.

John Dyer


Download & print a PDF of the paintings
Inspire your children to paint and engage with the Spirit of the Rainforest before September 30th 2015. ALL of their work will be exhibited on www.edenproject.com  Find out more


N.B. The Paintings are available for sale. They will be exhibited at the Eden Project from October 17th to 8th January 2016 and will be available to send to buyers in early January.


Rainforest Signed Limited Edition Prints


        



View the Amazon Rainforest range of Limited Editions by artist John Dyer
These beautiful prints are all produced by the artist on archival quality watercolour paper and can be delivered to you framed.
Free delivery in the UK.
Framed prices £199. Unframed prices £65 or £115 depending on size.

Supported by
           Falmouth Art Gallery Logo      

Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE

Sponsored by

Zazzle.com            Banrock Station Wine