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Amazon - Chapter 1 - 'Spirit of the Rainforest'

Last Chance to Paint John Dyer project logo of planet earth with endangered people, plants and animals

In 1989 British Artist John Dyer explored the Amazon as a photographer for Thames TV. At that time an Amazonian Indian, Nixiwaka Yawanawá, was a small boy living with his tribe the Yawanawá tribal rainforest village of Mutum in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil. 26 years later John and Nixiwaka met at the Eden Project. John Dyer’s Amazon experience turned him into an artist and painter and John discovered that one of Nixiwaka’s dreams was to paint. 

The Eden Project brought these two creatives together in a unique cultural exchange to create a new exhibition of paintings that inspired a new generation to connect to the Rainforest.

"I went round the exhibition with our Chinese delegation yesterday and they were dumbstruck by the sheer effervescence of the display. Simply marvellous."
Tim Smit Co-Founder of the Eden Project

"Just to say how impressive the display of children's art is. Absolutely astonishing, and the best one I have ever seen. Well done to John Dyer."
Roy Goodman

"Visitors spoke to me with absolute delight about the display in Spice of the pictures submitted by children for the Spirit of the Rainforest project. It has won a great number of admirers."
Phil Lakeland - Narrator Eden Team

"John Dyer's dream prompts a thousand Eden artists."
The West Briton Newspaper

"A wonderful, inspiring and humble evening. Thank you."
Graham Richards

"The Rainforest is a vital part of our lives and our future. We don't all realise this yet but the tribal people of the Amazon know it. By engaging children with the rainforest through art I hope it will build a lifelong concern and connection to the environment. When I travelled to the Amazon in 1989 as a photographer with Thames TV I was inspired. Inspired by the beauty and inspired to paint. I have painted ever since. When I met Nixiwaka for the first time at The Eden Project he explained his wish is to paint. I am delighted to be part of granting his wish and in the process to hopefully inspire thousands of young minds."
John Dyer 2015

"The destruction of our rainforest land is terrible, because the forest is alive. It is our life, and the animals’ life. We don’t separate our existence from it, we are all one body and one being: the plants, water, trees and Yawanawá. When we see harm come to the rainforest, it is as if a part of our own body has been hurt. It feels like an illness that rises up in us and needs to be cured."
Nixiwaka Yawanawá

Following on from the original 'Spirit of the Rainforest' exhibition at the Eden Project in 2015, artist John Dyer once again traveled to the Amazon rainforest to live and paint with the tribe in June 2019, accompanied by explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE, Merlin Hanbury-Tenison and musician Martha-Lilly Dyer.

This expedition formed: Chapter 1 - 'Spirit of the Rainforest' proudly sponsored by Procreate.

This extraordinary project generated these remarkable new paintings and drawings and revealed a new genre of art - Amazon Indian Art. Read more about the artist's journey on the project blog and web site now.