SAMUEL RIERA & DERBIS CAMPOS
Evolving Natura, a new series of plant-based sculptures by Samuel Riera and Derbis Campos, stems from their partnership with Picturing Climate, an organization conceived by Agnes Czajka and Eva Sajovic that brings together an international network of artists, researchers, and cultural institutions in an effort to explore the potential of arts and humanities based methodologies to develop increased educational capacities around climate change induced food and livelihoods insecurities.
Network participants have come together to organize participatory programs in Cuba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan and the UK using a variety of methods and approaches. The project began in Havana, Cuba in April 2019, continued in Bosnia in August 2019, Jordan in September 2019 and culminated in a public program at the Tate Modern in London, between November 28th and December 1st, 2019.
For RIERA STUDIO, being part of Picturing Climate enabled them to explore the relationship between arts, nature and the environment. More specifically, it enabled them to focus on developing strategies for environmental awareness for young people in the first stages of school education. The possibility of being able to design their own methodologies allowed them sufficient autonomy to experiment and develop methodologies most useful for their particular context. Their strategies were directly linked to the formation of practical environmental knowledge in children.
"Under the current circumstances, with the limitations imposed by the global Covid-19 pandemic, our work has been limited to only the two of us. However, and as an example of the influence that the Picturing Climate project has had on our own artistic work, we have begun to develop the series, Evolving Natura, in which organic elements such as plant sprouts, seeds, pigments of wildflowers and small plants are combined with sculptural elements to create structures that are symbiotically interwoven. This series proposes to speak about current topics as food deficiencies, the sustainability of agricultural processes, and the art-environment relationship."
As part of Picturing Climate, we created a practical model where we would link communicative, visual and artistic processes through different creative workshops, all with the aim of creating a favorable ground for teaching the cultivation of micro-orchards in urban areas. The aim of each of these workshops was the formation of awareness about links between nature, urban environments, planting and nutrition. Working with this knowledge, young people could then experiment with cultivating their own micro-orchards or urban gardens on school grounds, and share their knowledge and skills with their families.