To The Trees: A Changing of Home is a solo exhibition by London based artist Jennifer Hooper based on her residency in the Bolivian rainforest. Exhibited work includes ink portraits of different monkey species; the unsentimental studies draw our attention to the creatures gestures and postures which are embedded with human characteristics.
Also featured are large scale oil paintings of the forest, juxtaposed with an installation of 600 small photographs of logging trucks. This shocking visual statistic presents an average of how many trees may be logged in one area in just 30 days.
The exhibition draws on ten years of thoughts and ideas that began when Hooper volunteered at the International NGO Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) in 2004. The work is a culmination of a 9 week residency in the Bolivian Jungle when she returned as an artist, to CIWY in 2013.
Through painting, drawing and photography Hooper responds to the threats facing a unique area of forest, and the creatures depending upon its survival for their own.
After being in close proximity to the rescued animals at CIWY Hooper gained a unique insight into the consequences of habitat degradation and the wildlife trade in Bolivia.
This work is an aesthetic and philosophical response to our changing relationship to the natural world; through which we are presented with an intimate portrait of these wild creatures and their fragile home.
‘…After about a month I couldn’t remember what was so great about the adornments of modern life, running hot water, electricity, internet, cold drinks and supermarkets; because all seemed incomparable to the uniqueness of this way of life, to feel and know that you are part of something exceptional and far greater than yourself. And to have the privilege to live every day under the shelter of the forest, in the company of these exquisite animals and the passionate people that care for them.’
About Jennifer Hooper
Jennifer Hooper is a London based visual artist. She studied painting and photography at Camberwell College of Art and Anatomy at UCL. She has exhibited internationally and travels regularly in an exploratory way, which informs her practice.
Hooper’s Paintings, drawings and photographs capture and present us with a subtle sense of the uncanny. Concerned with the duality of melancholy and its aesthetic, she explores the beauty within feelings of absence and nostalgia. There is a dialogue with the romantic era, where imagery and process holds a historical significance.
Over the last couple of years through specific collaborative exhibitions and projects Hooper has endeavoured to highlight and respond to environmental concerns commenting upon our relationship to the natural world and our place within it.
‘I often work from the collected animal; drawn from the past, and live and dead animal display, these images have a profundity that resonates at an unconscious level. ’
Thursday 2nd October, 7.00 – 8.30 pm: An ONCA Conversation: Art in the Trees
Featuring artist Jennifer Hooper, ONCA Founder Laura Coleman and CIWY Head of International Relations Jonathan Cassidy.
Join Jennifer, Laura and Jon as we discuss animal encounters in the jungle, and explore the links between art and conservation, survival and friendship.
In 1992, Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi was born, an NGO that works tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate animals captured and sold on the Bolivian black market.
In 2012, Laura Coleman set up the ONCA gallery in Brighton, inspired to bring together art and conservation by the friendship that she formed in Bolivia with one of CIWY’s rescued pumas.
In 2013, Jennifer Hooper spent 9 weeks as Artist in Residence at one of CIWY’s jungle refuges. ONCA’s current exhibition is a collection of Jennifer’s paintings, drawings and photographs – presenting her creative response to the forest, and the creatures that depend upon its survival for their own.