Liana Nigri is a Brazilian visual artist deeply interested in BioArt, holding a masters degree in 'Design for Textile Futures' from Central Saint Martins. She is a researcher at the postgraduate program in Contemporary Studies of the Arts at UFF (Universidade Federal Fluminense), where she investigates the idea of 'Contact sculptures: body-matter' where the artist uses the sculpture making as an intimate gesture of hearing the female body.
She has been taking part of art residencies annually, such as 'LabVerde' in the Amazon Forest, 'From the Laboratory to the Studio' in SVA-New York, 'In Context' in Romania, in the ecovillage 'Terra Una' in Serra da Mantiqueira and ‘Despina’ in Rio de Janeiro.
Her research calls attention to the presence of women’s bodies and the Earth as a fertile force, a careful observation of marks that show traces of time, experiences or traumas.
In July 2018, I took part in LabVerde, an artistic residency in the Amazon rainforest that aims to talk about art, science and nature through a short and intense 10-day immersion divided between river and forest reserve experiences.
This series of work makes reference to ‘Dark Earth’ (Terra Preta de Índio), a trace of the rational use of soil found throughout the Amazon. Archaeologists inform that the ‘Dark Earth’ is typical of ancient settlements where native people's presence created this soil for thousands of years, spontaneously, transforming the soil into a high-level of fertility, which is not characteristic of the region.
My research seeks to speak of this fertility, resulting from a harmonious coexistence between human beings and the surrounding nature. I started an experimental record of tree textures on my own skin and then I left a site-specific piece of the memory of my body in the reserve, trying to follow the embrace of a vine on a tree. An effort to bow to nature, thus removing the artist from the classic distanced place of subject, and the landscape as an object to be devoured.
Based on the previous on-the-spot experience posted yesterday, I brought the search for gestures that contemplate the recognition of nature’s shapes and textures to my studio, a shell-like sculpture where there is no one or the other, subject or object, inside or outside.
This work is an investigation of secret forms that take place in invisibility of the "in between" when two become one, moving us to the understanding that we are not only a species living in a natural environment, but we are nature!
In 2015, during an art residency at the BioArt department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, I started research with biofilm (SCOBY), a cellular material produced through harmless bacteria and yeasts from the fermentation of the probiotic drink Kombucha.
From this biological media I develop a new tissue capable of capturing textures and forms from living surfaces, generating a second skin with traces from its history, experiences and/or traumas.
Touching on concepts of the impermanence and life cycle, I intend to represent the feminine through busts of women in various ages (from 30 to 90 years) and the masculine through the plant Monstera Deliciosa, which in Portuguese has the nicknamed ‘Costela de Adão’, the Adam’s Ribs (to be posted in a couple of days).
Ovo Mundo, 2019, Liana Nigri, video, 2' 10''. Courtesy of the artist.
In a womb of the earth, women gestate “pregnant forms in other ways”, where holes and crevices in the forest land served as welcoming spaces for sculptural actions, in which female bodies in a fetal position deposit a hollow egg of fresh clay in the center of the body, supported on the pelvis.
The Earth receives the woman who, in turn, receives the sculpture and remains in contact for a while. The clay turns to skin and breathes together. With each expansion the work contracts, transforms, tears and even breaks, giving light to the work observed in this meditative video.
The act of recording the body gains a ritualistic value. The capture of that moment of presence within a time that does not exist like that of the clock, but as a time of temperatures, of the exchange of heat and humidity, of the sounds of breathing, of the internal nature and of the surroundings.
The meeting of bodies, understanding the clay, the earth as a body, in a process of shared making, where the vectors of strength and resistance of the two materials together are capable of generating an unknown shape.
Lasting Leaves, Liana Nigri, video, 1' 33''. Courtesy of the artist.
As introduced previously through Lasting Lives, since 2015 I've been working with a living material called biofilm (SCOBY), a cellular material produced through harmless bacteria and yeasts from the fermentation of the probiotic drink Kombucha.
The first time I heard about this material was during my masters degree in 'Textile Futures' at Central Saint Martins where researcher Suzanne Lee started her incredible journey in creating wearables with this technology.
A few years later it was my turn to fall in love with this self growing surface, an ancient culture and generous source of health. As it is made with tea, it is possible to achieve a beautiful range of brownish hues and dry tones that resemble human skin and still life. After the work is finished it remains alive, reacting to its environment by altering tonality and malleability.
We dedicate the last day of each ART+ECOLOGY #H253Takeover to highlight a specific campaign or organisation actively working towards environmental causes, and invite our takeover artists to share one that is close to their heart. 🌿
Liana has appointed The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) as her chosen organisation. Their mission is to promote and defend the indigenous rights, based on the articulation and union between indigenous peoples and organizations from different regions of the country.
“The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil was created by the indigenous movement at Camp Terra Livre (ATL) 2005. ATL is our national mobilization, held every year, starting in 2004, to increase awareness over the situation of indigenous rights and claim from the Brazilian Government the fulfilment of its demands. APIB is an instance of national reference of the indigenous movement in Brazil, created from the bottom up. It brings together our indigenous regional organizations and was born with the purpose of strengthening the unity of our peoples, the articulation between the different indigenous regions and organizations in the country, in addition to mobilizing indigenous peoples and organizations against threats and aggressions against indigenous rights.
Today, APIB is once again here and fulfilling its role.”
Find our more about their mission through their website.
This week we are extremely pleased to add two of Liana’s photographic works as limited edition to our Art+Ecology print series!
Gestos de Contato, 42 x 23.6 cm
Contato, 42 x 28 cm
Both archival giclée prints run a limited edition of 15 and are printed on beautiful 285 gsm Hahnemühle Pearl paper.
The limited edition print sales directly support the artists and raise funds for their chosen charity/organisation with a 40/40% share, and the non-profit programme of HOXTON 253 with the remaining 20%.
Liana has appointed The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) as her chosen organisation.
APIB's mission is to promote and defend indigenous rights, based on the articulation and union between indigenous people and organizations from different regions of the country.
Find out more about them through Liana’s previous post and their page @ApibOficial