'The most we can hope for with our art is to have an impact. The more people we reach, the more politically evolved people there will be to vote for those who defend our rights.'
– Daiara Tukano
Richard Saltoun Gallery is pleased to announce the debut solo exhibition in Europe by Brazilian Indigenous artist and activist, Daiara Tukano (b. São Paulo, 1982), featuring a new series of paintings and works on paper produced in Rome specifically for this show. This new body of work expands on the artist's ongoing way of using her artistic practice to deconstruct the legacies of racism and colonialism that silence and marginalise Indigenous communities around the world, doing so through a powerful feminine lens.
This exhibition is intricately linked to the axis of poignant global discourses surrounding eco-feminism, ecology, and Indigenous art practices. These themes reverberate throughout other institutional exhibitions that have featured Daiara's work – such as her current solo, Pamuri Pati – World of Transformation at Museu Nacional da República in Brasília, and the group show, Dear Earth, at Hayward Gallery in London earlier this year. Daiara was also the invited speaker for the public program The Future of Indigenous Art, Collections, and Exhibitions, accompanying the exhibition Siamo Foresta at Triennale Milano – the talks took place at Fondation Cartier in Milan and Museo delle Civiltà in Rome in October this year.
Daiara is a member of the Erëmiri Hãusiro Parameri clan of the Yepá Mahsã people, more widely known as the Tukano, from the Amazonian region of Alto Rio Negro. Her works are deeply rooted in exploring her people's traditions and spirituality, often guided by her own dreams and visions induced by the native medicine of ayahuasca, and layered with a rich array of cultural references.
The exhibition will focus on the artist's new series of paintings and works on paper, produced during her residency in Rome that expand on Daiara's previous series about the Amõ Numiã, or 'first women' – giant deities depicted in vibrant colours, overlaid with dense patterns and plant motifs, at times appearing as half-female, half-animal. For Daiara, they represent the 'female origins of creation', and the harmonious interconnection between the human and natural worlds.
Among other highlights will be two large-scale paintings that were previously included in Dear Earth at Hayward Gallery: Pirõ nīkī. Forest of the serpent, and Ohpëkó Pati – world of the sacred waters of the Grand Mother of the universe, both of which engage with the origin story of humanity within the Daiara people's mythology and beliefs.
As the Daiara's first solo exhibition in Europe, her presentation at Richard Saltoun Gallery is at the centre of pivotal discourse around the politics and future of indigenous art and ecology. The artworks on display serve as powerful conduits to the collective memory and transformative history shared by Indigenous people, amplifying their collective voices and reaffirming their inherent right to their truth, land and memory.
Press release courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.