Vandria Borari  Yupirungáwa (2023)

Artist Liaison Vandria Borari residency and new commission for Invisible Flock exhibition This is a Forest – LEEDS 2023

A one-year long collaboration liaising with the artist, from initial workshops and consultations until securing a commission and developing a plan to produce the work in the UK, support through the residency, and exhibition installation.

Yupirungáwa, by Vandria Borari, features tucumâ and curuá seeds in ceramic, sculpted in large scale to transport us to the botanical remains found during excavations in the archaeological sites of Porto Santarém, in the town of Santarém, and of Caverna da Pedra Pintada, in Monte Alegre, both in the state of Pará, in the Brazilian Amazon region.

These archaeological sites are areas of terra preta – long standing occupation sites whose earth contains high levels of nutrients, organic matter and traces of ceramics, lithic, botanicals and fauna.

Yupirungáwa, which means ‘origin’ in the Indigenous language Nheengatu, reveals the unity of local populations with the ‘Kaa’ – the forest. Through this word, the abundant biological diversity of fruit plants, medicinal plants, and palm trees found in Indigenous territories are revealed as intertwined with the path and footsteps of these populations, highlighting their agency in both the shaping and maintenance of the forest as it exists today.

Portrait of Vandria Borari with her work Yupirungáwa, 2023, in installation view of This is a Forest, an Invisible Flock exhibition at LEEDS 2023. Photo © David Lindsay.

Invisible Flock and Vandria Borari have been kindly connected by Flavia Santana, from Lab Verde, where both parts have been joined artistic residencies in the past. Lab Verde is a transdisciplinary platform based in the Brazilian Amazon, whose main focus is the development of environment-related artistic languages, working in the production and democratization of knowledge through residencies, lectures, exhibitions, festivals, workshops and publications.

Vandria Borari’s artistic residency with Invisible Flock took place between September–October 2023, and was supported on site by the kind hands-on assistance of Ta’wa.

Photos by Cecilia Vilela, courtesy of Vandria Borari and Invisble Flock.