From The Ashes, an exhibition + auction raising funds for Xingu Indigenous communities of the Amazon Rainforest. - FAD Magazine

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From The Ashes, an exhibition + auction raising funds for Xingu Indigenous communities of the Amazon Rainforest.

Migrate Art, the pioneering arts organisation that harnesses the power of creativity to support the world’s most vulnerable communities presents its latest project, From the Ashes, dedicated to raising funds for two Indigenous Associations of Upper Xingu in the Amazon Rainforest, whose land has been extensively targeted by illegal deforestation.

Produced in collaboration with the London-based arts research centre People’s Palace Projects, From The Ashes comprises an exhibition of new works by 29 contemporary artists – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – from around the world, including Cornelia Parker, Idris Khan, Loie Hollowell, Richard Long, Shezad Dawood and Tacita Dean, which will be on view at The Truman Brewery in London in February 2024 and go on sale as part of Christie’s Post War and Contemporary art auctions in March 2024.

From The Ashes, an exhibition + auction raising funds for Xingu Indigenous communities of the Amazon Rainforest.
Andy Goldsworthy, Amazon Ash 2023, courtesy of Migrate Art and the artist

These artists have joined forces to create unique From The Ashes pieces, using paints, inks and pastels formulated from the ash and charcoal salvaged from the burnt remnants of the Amazon, created in partnership Jackson’s Art Supplies. These works will be auctioned at Christie’s, with proceeds supporting the resistance of the Xingu people, and sustain indigenous fire brigades through purchasing equipment and funding training programmes. Funds raised will also support the development of indigenous-led reforesting initiatives across the Xingu territory to help the forest recover.

From The Ashes, an exhibition + auction raising funds for Xingu Indigenous communities of the Amazon Rainforest.
Richard Long, Amazon Burning and Dreaming, 2023. courtesy of Migrate Art and the artist

Artists participating in From The Ashes include: Aislan Pankararu, André Griffo, Andy Goldsworthy, Antonio Tarsis, Alfie Caine, Cornelia Parker, Glenys Johnson, Gokula Stoffel, Harminder Judge, Idris Khan, Indigenous artisans of the Ulupuwene and Topepeweke villages, John Kørner, Julie Curtiss, Kamo Waurá, Loie Hollowell, María Berrío, Mary Mattingly, Michel Mouffe, Nigel Cooke, Piers Secunda, Richard Long, Richard Woods, Robert Longo, Samuel de Saboia, Sarah Ball, Shezad Dawood, Simon Butler, Tal R, Tacita Dean and Tony Bevan.

From The Ashes, an exhibition + auction raising funds for Xingu Indigenous communities of the Amazon Rainforest.
Andre-Griffo, The Blessed Ranieri Cultivating Deserts, 2023-4. courtesy of Migrate Art and the artist

The Amazon is suffering one of the worst droughts in its history amid continued criminal deforestation. From The Ashes sheds light on the resistance of Indigenous communities fighting the climate crisis and the importance of their cultural practices in protecting the Amazon from the destructive impacts of human activities. This is especially important since climate change can only be addressed by considering the cultural integrity of Indigenous peoples, who are less than 5% of the world’s population but protect 80% of the remaining global biodiversity. At People’s Palace Projects, we believe in the power of the
arts to change people’s minds and hearts and this initiative is a powerful artistic message of regeneration, care and hope for the future.

Thiago Jesus, Head of Climate Action at People’s Palace Projects

Motivated by the rising global temperatures and extreme conditions that have filled the headlines in recent years, Migrate Art founder Simon Butler joined a trip with People’s Palace Projects in the Brazilian Amazon in July 2022, spending time with the Wauja and Kuikuro people who are resisting deforestation and climate change within their home. The village leaders showed Butler the areas of the forest that had been burnt down due to illegal logging to make way for cattle and soy and he was given permission to bring back ash and charcoal from the burnt remnants.

Visiting the Amazon and the Indigenous Xingu communities has brought me face-to-face with the stark reality of the devastation of the rainforest – it has been a sharp wake-up call. From The Ashes aims to continue raising awareness of the climate crisis, which affects everyone – after my visit, I felt compelled to do everything in my power to support the Xingu communities in their fight against deforestation. In bringing together the works of contemporary and indigenous artists, we hope to offer a new platform for discussion and action on this crisis. We arrived as strangers, but we left as friends, and I feel compelled to do all that I can to help the Xingu people in their fight to save the rainforest.

Simon Butler, Migrate Art founder.
Shezad Dawood, Tributaries, courtesy of Migrate Art and the artist

Building on the success of Migrate Art’s previous large-scale ventures Multicolour and Scorched Earth, From the Ashes is centred around the idea of transforming the destruction of the Xingu territory into creation, addressing the urgent need for conservation and protection of the Amazon Rainforest, and support the fight of the communities who call it home.

For centuries, we have been using nature – urucum seeds and pequi coconut oil – to paint our bodies and our traditional ceramics. Now western contemporary artists will join us, using what’s left of the burning forest: the ashes. We hope this project will bring awareness to the illegal deforestation and equip us- Indigenous people- to recover and prevent further destruction of our territory.

Piratá Waurá, indigenous Wauja filmmaker and researcher,

Migrate Art has partnered with Jackson’s Art Materials, Unison Colour and Cranfield Colours who have formulated paint, ink, and pastels from this ash and charcoal, and sent these unique materials to high-profile contemporary and indigenous artists across the world. This has resulted in a diverse selection of outstanding artworks, culminating in a truly timely exhibition.

Tony Bevan, Epistrophy Red White Xingu, 2023, 45.5cmx-41.5cm, Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas A4 Print, courtesy of Migrate Art and the artist

Exhibition: 11 Dray Walk, The Truman Brewery, Wednesday 21st – Sunday 25th February 2024- Private View: Tuesday 20th February 6-9pm Auction: Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Day Sale, Saturday 9th March 2024 migrateart.com


Founded in 2016 by Simon Butler, Migrate Art is a social enterprise that collaborates with renowned artists to create meaningful art, donating profits to groups who support marginalised and displaced individuals and communities across the globe. Since its launch, Migrate Art has raised over £1.6 million for its charity partners and has worked with many of the world’s leading artists including Anish Kapoor, Mona Hatoum, Antony Gormley, Shepard Fairey and Rachel Whiteread. migrateart.com

The Xingu is a protected Indigenous territory in the South Basin of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest of more than 2.6 million hectares (approx. the size of Belgium) and home to 16 Indigenous communities, including the Wauja and the Kuikuro people. One of the world’s most ethnically and linguistically diverse Indigenous territories, it is also the largest remaining island of tropical forest in the Brazilian Amazon’s arc of deforestation. The Xingu stands today as one of the main barriers to deforestation in the Amazon. Over the past decade, intensive farming, indiscriminate use of pesticides, the expansion of cattle, mining, land grabbing, deforestation and river alteration outside the territory have changed the regional hydroclimate and increased the frequency and intensity of droughts and forest fires. This project is a partnership with the Wauja people of the Ulupuwene village, and the Kuikuro people of the Ipatse village.

People’s Palace Projects’ mission is to investigate the power of creativity and collaborate with marginalised communities to make change. With a growing global network of partners, People’s Palace Projects – an arts research centre based at Queen Mary University of London – advocates for equality, climate justice and better health through the arts. peoplepalaceprojects.org.uk



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