hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over in soft slow-motion
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes."
- excerpt from "Questions of Travel" in Geogrpahy III by Elizabeth Bishop, written shortly after she moved to Brazil in 1951.
The Brazilian artist Santido Pereira (b.1996) calls his print technique "incision, cut, and fitting." You can see the results in the bromeliad at left; for the past five years he has focused on the tropical plants of the Atlantic rain forests of northern Brazil. Bromeliads are said to symbolize thes human connection with nature, with its healing and regenerative qualities. Native to South America, they have stemless leaves and a deep calyx, and they are attractive to butterflies...
Composed of a wooden sheet and thick layers of paint, Pereira's engravings have spurred a renaissance in Brazilian prints. At the same time, his work honors the scientific tradition of botanical illustration which developed on the 6th century. Plant species are placed at the center of the page, seen against a neutral back ground.
Born in Curral Comprido, in the northern state of Piaui, one of the country's poorest, Pereira spent his early years in close companionship with nature; not surprisingly, his work is viewed through a lens of nostalgia. He trained at the Acacia School in Sao Paulo.
Image: Santido Pereira in untitled (Bromeliad), wooden sheet offset with paint, dimensions estimated as being about 4' x 3', Xippas Gallery, Paris.