One of the foremost contemporary artists emerging from the Amazonian basin, Sara Flores (b. 1950) lives and works in Peru, and is part of the Shipibo-Conibo People, an Indigenous group spread out alongside the Ucayali River. Flores's intricate, geometric paintings on textile rework and expand the traditional form of Kené, a Shipibo term that can mean 'design' and whose etymology probably links with the verb kéenti, which means to love or to care for.
Flores's Kené designs are hypnotic, abstract patterns rendering an overall image with a complex, vibrational power. Created using knowledge passed down matriarchally from generation to generation, it is part of a deeply entwined belief system that does not aim to represent but rather, to fix the fluidity of forms and images that inhabit the world of the spirit. Shipibo researcher and author Laureano Rios Cairuna has written: 'Kené designs are an expression of Shipibo creativity and reveal the symbolic form in which shamanic practices serve as the point of contact between the material world and the invisible forces of nature.'
Press release courtesy White Cube.