In 2019, Valente decides to embark on a new voyage, with a new project in mind. The aim is familiar, to capture the power of the forest, but this time, she choses the Amazonian rainforest. Her initial destination is Alta Floresta which is a gateway to 250000 hectares of virgin rainforest. After 15 days of early exploration, Valente expresses the idea of being able to “die easy”, and not knowing in which language to express herself.
The idea of refuge is a curious one, double edged blade of comfort and discomfort, and every new day in the rainforest is caught somewhere between paradise and hell. All notions, or points of reference slowly dissolve as the artist goes deeper into the rainforest, language, elements of communication, time, connection. In fact, the role of the artist takes on a performance of living. Her ties to one world are forgotten, and her ties to a new one be- gin. Often illuminated only by the light of the moon and stars, the sun is weak in the rainy season and offer temporary paths by foot of boat, which tend to appear and disappear within hours.
And so, as the ocular responsibility experience becomes memory and memory becomes offering. Maybe on a larger scale, to what it means to go back to the instinctual, and to what existed as the only explanation for a greater force, that which surrounds us. It has been argued and proven that the network of plants and trees often operate different from how humans have evolved. That the network aides for a total survival, that defense mechanisms can be employed, that systems of intelligence are far greater than what we can imagine, and therefore, Valente aims to capture such network.
So here her work travels this attempt at capture, where ocular meets infinite power in all directions, whether spiritual, or natural or supernatural or pure chaos. It’s what you see when you’re in the thick of the experience. A leaf becomes a face, a face becomes a voice, a voice becomes the truth, a vice versa, in reverse. The good part of what is happening, is that the information is yours to play with.
What was small format, is exploded on a macro lens and presented framed. Printed, then tinted slowly with watercolor and wax and tint extracted from the same plants as the natives. The result is an image that is equally ettoufant and free. The viewer is granted the option to see and feel what they want under the cloak of invisible tint.
«This series of images is like a dialogue between the forest and my mind. The Forest communicates me symbols, faces, scenes and inside of me, stories are born, and some buried in my memory, sometimes reborn.»
It’s also a tribute to the world’s greatest jungle, its original and complete title Amazonia – Lost Time speaks for itself.
Each frame is unique and conceptualized by the artist.
They are inspired by the machete marks voluntarily left on the trunks of trees by the people of the forest, guardians, hunters,… in order to communicate with each other in a world where modern communi- cation networks are non-existent.
The Urucum is the pigment mainly used on these images. This pigment, extracted from the flower seed of the Roucou tree, is used by the Indian people of Amazonia to dye their skin in order to be protected from evil spirits and to be invisible to the animals during the hunt.
Photography – Watercolor – Wax – Pigment
Cadre Sculpté et teinté – chêne
200 x 135 cm
97 x 65 cm
Credits Photo Diane Arques