Inspiration for Artist Grimanesa Amoros

A transient and brilliant rainbow spanning across the commanding andean mountain range…majestic pink dolphins skimming through the waters of the Amazon…the  intricate tattoos blanketing the mummy arm of the only known female Inca priestess…gently lapping waves along the shores of a private-island retreat…

Inspiration comes in many forms and in our recent discussion with Peruvian-artist Grimanesa Amorós, we discussed her work and how a trip with Aracari through her homeland can be a source of inspiration for new ideas. An interdisciplinary artist, Grimanesa makes use of various mediums including sculpture, video, and lighting, Grimanesa  to complement her diverse areas of interest in social history, scientific research and critical history.  During her absence from Peru for formal training and to showcase her professional work, Grimanesa sourced and continues to source her inspiration from the fascinating and diverse aspects of her home country.

Grimanesa began studying at the Art Students League of New York, where she explored painting and printmaking for several years before realizing that her true calling was working with light instead of paint. Despite moving at a relatively young age to pursue her career as an artist, Grimanesa has always had a deep connection with her homeland. In our recent interview with her, Grimanesa said she “was exposed at an early age to the colors, the variation of the landscape – coast, sierra and jungle along with all the tropical fruits that Peru has to offer.”  She often found herself having deja vu moments when natural landscapes and breathtaking phenomenons reminded her of home.

Trips back to her Peru were particularly moving for Grimanesa and provided her with inspiration for several of her projects.  Among these was a trip to the Uros reed islands in Lake Titicaca.  These unique floating islets, situated in the world’s highest navigable lake, are made entirely of tortora reeds utilizing a technique that dates back centuries.  Grimanesa told us that while “walking on the totora reeds of the Uros Islands, I was struck by the sense of weightlessness and spiritual connectivity achieved by walking on these floating islands.”  This moving experience inspired several of her large-scale, light-based installations around the globe including Light Between the Islands in Tel Aviv, Israel and Uros House which was displayed publicly in Times Square, New York. In these pieces, her interpretations of the Uros Islands incorporates polycarbonate orbs illuminated from within with LED lights and silkscreened with images reminiscent of the tortora reeds.  By bringing awareness to this interesting location, Grimanesa shares with us her passion and respect for the people and culture of Uros, as well as concern for their futures.

Her most recent visit to the north of Peru was organized by Aracari, and Grimanesa visited several sites including El Brujo, the Royal Tombs of Sipan, Tucume, and the Sican museum, which provided sources of inspiration for her most recent video piece.  Featuring images of sea foam along the Peruvian coastline occasionally juxtaposed with ancient archaeological sites in north along with images of her own face, Miranda delves into the contrasting themes of man-made versus natural, examining their individual qualities as well as the ways in which they coexist. Shot during a seven-day trip in the region, the video led Grimanesa to create an installation piece in which viewers are encouraged to sit on comfortable cushions and are immersed in the sounds and images of the video in order to fully appreciate the experience and the message she intends to convey.

“I always think of our role in our communities throughout the world, how we could share with people what we do and how important it is to make our work available to all type of audiences,” says Grimanesa, and we too at Aracari strive to provide exactly that. In a country so multifaceted and complex, it can be difficult to filter out the mundane and contrived, yet we work so hard to facilitate travel experiences when curiosity and imagination are sparked and lasting memories are forever imprinted into your mind. Grimanesa told us that she and her family were very well taken care at all moments of her journey by members of the Aracari team. Without proper knowledge of the area and guidance, a traveler can often feel more like a tourist, yet with hand-picked, meticulously selected itineraries, Aracari aims to make every single guest feel like who they truly are: an explorer of the world.

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