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The Invisible Forest


As the launch event for the Flourishing Diversity Series, we presented The Invisible Forest, an exhibition of paintings by renowned Indigenous Peruvian-Amazonian artists with curator Patsy Craig.


Lastenia Canayo, Roldan Pinedo, Brus Rubio, Elena Valera, Jimena Pinedo Valera, Estafany Pinedo Valera, Miguel Vilca, Rember Yahuarcani and Santiago Yahuarcani

The Earth system has now entered the Anthropocene, a geological age in which plantation monocultures, pollution, and industrial-scale resource extraction are damaging or destroying vital ecological systems on which the planet and its biological diversity depend. Globally dominant modes of human existence, urban consumption demands and elite profit-seeking activities that reduce flourishing diverse environments to impoverished and damaged ecosystems where nature has difficulty regenerating itself are driving us towards ecological crises and the sixth great extinction event.


Due to our ethically untenable relationship to nature, the Earth System is in crisis, yet we have proven incapable of developing a coherent approach to addressing this threat to future liveability. Moreover, large numbers of people whose livelihoods have done nothing to cause this crisis are most exposed to its consequences. Many come from cultural traditions that enrich and perpetuate healthy biodiversity as the means to ensure mutual flourishing. These Indigenous ‘wisdom traditions’ are recognised for their sustainable world views and sophisticated understanding of our interdependence on the Earth System. Such traditions have rarely emerged in the context of capitalist societies.


The Amazon is a central focus of the most consequential geopolitical and environmental concerns of our time. The Invisible Forest is a tribute to the complexity of the Amazon – a vast, rugged, beautifully diverse expanse integral to the Earth System’s ecological well-being that has been continuously invaded by numerous resource exploitation interests largely dominated by Western economic consumptive forces severely lacking in effective sustainable administrative policies. Within this setting, the region’s original custodians are under threat and it remains a struggle for Indigenous peoples to uphold their rights, maintain their cultural traditions, and preserve their ancestral knowledge and lands despite significant studies demonstrating a strong correlation between the last remaining, relatively intact forests and the presence of Indigenous peoples.

The Invisible Forest exhibition provides a platform for these Native Amazonian artists to make visible their culture’s enlightened world views and its adjunct programme of gallery talks gives London audiences unprecedented access to their invaluable insights.



Artist & Guest Talk: “The Forest Within”, Saturday 8 June 2019, 4-6pm – Join Native Amazonians, Artist in Residence Brus Rubio (Muruy/ Bora) and his guest Okosho/ Tomy Samaniego (Ashaninka), as they reflect on their Indigenous upbringing and their integration into city life. In so doing, they will share some of their ancestral traditions and songs.


Guided walk-through tours with Resident Artist Brus Rubio and curator Patsy Craig, can be arranged during the Private View and on Thursday 6, 13, and 20 June.


Artist in Residence Brus Rubio will be present at the gallery throughout the month working on his painting entitled The Flourishing Diversity, to be presented to CAOS (Centre for the Anthropology of Sustainability) at UCL.

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