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Winter-Spring 2016, Tambopata Research Centre, Madre de Dios, Peru

The material research documented in these images was developed across a three-month residency in the Tambopata National Reserve in the Madre de Dios province of Peru. A scraggy palm-forest considered to hold the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet and home to seventeen distinct ethnolinguistic groups of Indigenous Peoples, including the Ese’Eja Nation, who were our gracious hosts and guides to the region. The riverbanks near the research center are acclaimed for expansive salty clay licks, or collpas, which attract dozens of dozens of tiny parakeets, parrots, and macaws daily who arrive to eat the clay as supplement to their sodium-deficient diets. Likewise, while walking through the hot, humid forest my skin became host to bees, butterflies, and other insects in search sweet sweaty nutrients. Following a once-in-a-century flood, I assembled stone mermaid-like sculptures covered in a salt-dough mixture with added ingredients of Gatorade, urine, and chewed-up plant material. These works provided much interest to an array of critters – specifically leaf-cutter ants who needed extra nourishing after the river flooded their colonies and covered their leaf-litter food supply with several metres of silt and sand.

A lengthier description of  “_~forms_” can be found here.

Related field research from Tambopata contributed to the curatorial project, and, something like fire dancing at Susan Hobbs Gallery, Fall 2016 featuring work by Amy Brener, Patrick Cruz, Barbara Kasten, and Scott Lyall