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People’s Palace Projects: ‘From the Ashes’ - an exhibition and auction raising funds for Xingu Indigenous communities of the Amazon Rainforest

Exhibition: The Truman Brewery, Wednesday 21st - Sunday 25th February 2024

Auction: Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Day Sale, Saturday 9th March 2024

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Antonio Tarsis, From the Ashes, image © Damian Griffiths
Antonio Tarsis, From the Ashes, image © Damian Griffiths

From the Ashes’ comprises an exhibition of new works by 29 contemporary artists – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – from around the world, 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. Beautiful ceramic artworks by the Wauja indigenous artisans will also be on display.

This is a joint project between People’s Palace Projects at Queen Mary University of London, Migrate Art, and Indigenous partners in the Amazon basin in Brazil. People’s Palace Projects has been working with Indigenous people in Brazil for the past 9 years through cultural exchange programmes, artistic residencies, films, and cultural heritage documentation.

‘From the Ashes’ is centred around the idea of transforming the destruction of the Xingu Indigenous territory into creation, addressing the urgent need for conservation and protection of the Amazon Rainforest, and supporting the fight of the communities who call it home.

In July 2022, People’s Palace Projects, invited London-based artist Simon Butler, the founder of Migrate Art, to travel to the Xingu Indigenous territory.  The village leaders showed the areas of the forest that had been burnt down due to illegal logging to make way for cattle and soy and permitted People’s Place Projects to bring back ash and charcoal from the burnt remnants.

The ashes’ pigment was then turned into paint, ink and pastels and the material was distributed to contemporary artists who created 29 new artworks which will be auctioned.

The project is dedicated to raising funds for two Indigenous Associations of Upper Xingu in the Amazon Rainforest, whose land has been extensively targeted by illegal deforestation and exposed to the climate crisis which has raised the risk of fires in the protected territory.

Thiago Jesus, Head of Climate Action at People’s Palace Projects, says: “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.”

To find out more about the Exhibition and Auction, and the project, visit the People’s Palace Projects website.

Event Details:

Exhibition 21st – 25th February 2024 | Opening Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 12 - 8pm, Sunday 12 - 4pm | The Truman Brewery, London, E1 6QR

Auction | Saturday 9th March 2024 | Post War and Contemporary Day Sale | Christie’s, London, SW1Y 6QT

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