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16 JUNE 2013

Marianne North: pioneering botanical artist

"Victorian artist Marianne North, one of the only women of her time to travel to places like the Seychelles Islands, Australia, and Chile, and who left behind a trail of impressive art and writing about her botanical discoveries, is not a household name. ...

In 1871, when a 40–year–old North set out after the death of her father to travel around the world and to paint as many of world's flora in oils as possible, she unwittingly found herself both ahead of and behind her times. In the art world, she was definitely not part of the avant–garde; in France, Claude Monet and Pierre–Auguste Renoir had already started their Impressionist paintings, creating works that were worlds away from the status quo of a polished depiction of nature.

North went around the world twice, in fifteen years, traveling by train, boat, mule, and on foot, to every continent, except for Antarctica. In Brazil, where she spent 13 months, North painted lush landscapes and tropical flowers with tight brushstrokes and clean lines – a style that would soon be left behind with the revolutionary style of the Impressionists. North didn't perceive or paint her subjects in a particularly unique way, but she relayed every minute detail of a plant, flower, or landscape with breathtaking precision. Her paintings give you a straight, dispassionate look at an unfamiliar world."

(Alexia Nader, Garden Design)

Fig.1 Marianne North, New Zealand Flowers and Fruit, Date painted: early 1880s, Oil on board, 50.9 x 35.4 cm, Collection: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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TAGS

187119th centuryaccuracyAotearoa New ZealandartistAustraliabiodiversity • botanical artist • botanical record • BrazilCaliforniaCharles DarwinChiledepiction • dispassionate look • Edward Lear • fidelityfloragarden design • George Eliot • IndiaJapanKew Gardens • Marianne North • natural history • natural landscape • nature • non-European species • Origin of Speciespainting • painting nature • phytotomypioneering womenplant anatomyplantsscientific illustrationscientific illustrator • Seychelles • Seychelles Islands • travel • travel writing • travelogue • tropical plants • UK • unfamiliar world • Victorian art

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 NOVEMBER 2012

U+MAG: an independent Brazilian digital magazine

"In some religions, one must be baptized in water for a new, sinless person to emerge. Maybe that can unfold, in different ways, for a magazine like U+MAG, which is created from scratch every three months, sinless and clean – as I've said in past issues. And in life, it's sometimes crucial to be born again, everyday. But there is a baptism inside this edition, and it happened through images by Lucas Bori and Fernando Mazza. They are responsible (together with Cassia Tabatini, Daniel Malva, Tiago Chediak and Hugo Toni) for the pictures that act as breathers within this issue, which marks a transition to a new phase for the magazine. It is now divided between online (exclusive stories regularly posted on our website), mobile (iPad, iPhone and Android) and print (print on demand is the future!). This issue of U+MAG is special for another reason: it's our anniversary edition (but without golden, celebratory caps) and also because it celebrates in an unconventional way and running from stereotypes what an emerging nation can show the world. In this issue's opening pages, Bruno Munari's quote is the perfect translation for what we want to convey. Things that make our lives interesting. It's not as if the magazine has a message such as 'Yes, we have Bananas, and they are the world's best'. It's much more than that: we present Brazilian imagery outside of the tourist package that's usually spread around, specially when the country concerned is about to host a World Cup and the Olympics. But we treat it all ironically (e.g. the story shot by Vitor Pickersgill, inspired by the carioca piriguetes, a term for local, shamelessly clad girls) and poetically (such as the Iemanja 2.0, beautifully impersonated by Thais Custodio). If we focused the whole issue on Brazil, however, we would be closing ourselves to the world. And it goes against our principles. That's why the stories shot by our foreign collaborators are indispensable for U+MAG's universe. They are essential for our formula to work out. Our exaggerated, bold and visually ever changing spirit will remain intact. The covers, on the other hand, will suffer a redesign in 2013. A preview of that process is the cover of our special collector's issue–all to value photography and imagery. Besides, fresh air is always appreciated. A special thanks for all who were part of U+MAG's history so far, and hello for all newcomers, who believe in our work and our philosophy."

(U+MAG, 2012)

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TAGS

2004 • a transition to a new phase • acid-free paper • Android OS • anniversary edition • bold • BrazilBrazilian • Brazilian imagery • Bruno Munari • carioca piriguetes • content formcreative people • digital magazine • emerging nation • exaggerated • exclusive online content • FIFA World Cup • HP Indigo digital press • independent publishersiPadiPhonemagazine • MagCloud • make our lives interesting • Olympicsprint on demandredesign • Rio 2016 • rising talents • stereotypes • tourist destination • U+MAG • verified recycled sources • visual communication • visual intact • web magazine • whats happening • whats next • whats past

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 JUNE 2011

Uncontacted tribe found deep in Amazon rainforest

"Brazilian authorities say they have pinpointed the location of a community of ancient and uncontacted tribespeople in one of the remotest corners of the Amazon rainforest.

Fabricio Amorim, a regional co–ordinator for Brazil's indigenous foundation, Funai, said the indigenous community had been found after three small forest clearings were detected on satellite images. Flyovers were carried out in April, confirming the community's existence.

Four straw–roofed huts, flanked by banana trees and encircled by thick jungle, can be seen in photographs taken during the flyover.

The community is likely to be home to about 200 people, probably from the Pano linguistic group which straddles the border between Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, according to Funai.

Amorim said the region – known as the Vale do Javari – contained 'the greatest concentration of isolated groups in the Amazon and the world' but warned of growing threats to their survival."

(Tom Phillips, 22 June 2011, The Guardian, UK)

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TAGS

2011aerial viewAmazon rainforestancient people • banana trees • BoliviaBrazil • clearings • communityethicsexistence • Fabricio Amorim • flyover • forest clearings • forest-dwelling peoples • FUNAI • independenceIndigenousindigenous community • indigenous foundation • Indigenous peopleindigenous peoples • isolated groups • isolation • jungle • National Indian Foundation • natives • Pano linguistic group • Peruphotographspreservationprotectionrainforestremote communitiessatellite imagessatellite picturesSouth America • straw-roofed huts • sustainable future • threats to their survival • tribal communities • uncontacted community • uncontacted tribespeople • Vale do Javari

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 FEBRUARY 2011

Animated décollage technique used to produce 'Capitu' title sequence

"Capitu is a Brazilian TV mini–series adaptation of 19th–century novelist Machado de Assis' work, Dom Casmurro. The story centres on an ageing man looking back on his life in an attempt to discover whether his best friend is the true father of his son, who he has raised with his wife, Capitu. De Assis' novel is now considered one of Brazil's most important Modernist texts and, in order to convey its radicalism, motion graphics studio Lobo looked to the Dadaist movement as inspiration for the TV show's opening titles and interstitials. The team referenced what several avant–garde artists called 'décollage', a process where–rather than building up an image through layering–cutting and tearing instead reveals layers of buried images."

(Patrick Burgoyne, 28 April 2009)

Fig.1 'Capitu' title sequence.

Fig.2 The making of 'Capitu' title sequence.

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TAGS

19th century2008avant-gardeBrazil • Capitu • Carlos Bela • collagecut-up • cutting and tearing • Dada • decollage • design • Dom Casmurro • Globo Networks • illustrative styleinterstitialsjuxtapositionlayerlayering • Lobo • Machado de Assis • Mateus de Paula Santos • mini-series • Modernist texts • motion graphicspaper • Roger Marmo • title designtitle sequenceTVvisual design

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
31 MARCH 2010

DAP-Lab: cross-media performance lab

"DAP–Lab is a cross–media lab exploring convergences between performance, telematics, textile/fashion design and movement, clothing and choreography, visual expression, film/photography, and interactive design.

Founded in 2004, the Lab is now housed at Brunel University and continues research partnerships with multiple sites in the USA, Japan, and Brasil which have formed the ADaPT network on performance telematics since 2000. DAP–Lab also connects ongoing research investigations and productions in dance (Digital Cultures) with performance/science collaborations (TransNet), and brings these partnerships into knowledge transfer with performance, multimedia and electronics engineering research at Brunel University's School of Arts and School of Engineering and Design."

(Johannes Birringer)

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TAGS

20002004 • ADaPT network on performance telematics • Brasil • BrazilBrunel University • Brunel University School of Engineering and Design • choreographyclothing • cross-media lab • dance • DAP-Lab • digital culture • electronics engineering research at Brunel University School of Arts • fashion designfilminteractive designJapan • Johannes Birringer • knowledge transfermovementmultimediaperformanceperformance researchphotographyresearchsciencetelematicstextiles • TransNet • UK • visual expression

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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