Next January, you can join the P&O ship Aurora for the cruise of a lifetime – 65 nights sailing from Southampton via Madiera and St Vincent to Brazil, to Salvador, Buzios and Rio de Janeiro, from there to start your exploration of South America.
Today, the Brazilian Embassy in London occupies the former headquarters of the P&O Oriental Steam Navigation Company near Trafalgar Square, built in 1906-08 to designs of A.T.Bolton for the Hamburg America Shipping Line, with the mahogany-panelled shipping hall with its paintings of liners, remodelled in 1920, now used as a gallery space for Brazilian art, design and culture.
Artist Christina Schleder (Born São Paulo 1952) has, since 2010, been conducting experiments about how rain and moisture alter the colours and textures of the flora and fauna of the Atlantic Forest, photographing the transformational effects that occur. In her works “The Flying Carpets of the Rain Forest” Christina repeats photographic patterns from the Amazon rain forest to create beautiful images which have the rich detail found in carpets or tapestries or the delicacy found in timber veneers, contrasting with the natural figuring in the panelling of the room.
Not far away, in contemporary gallery spaces this time, at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in Old Burlington Street, another Brazilian artist – Luiz Zerbini (born 1959, also in San Paolo) has provided his own interpretation of the rain forest, showing it as he sees it, with brightly-coloured foliage and the ruins of human attempts to tame the jungle, incorporating geometric and wave patterns that are seen in his other works, reflecting the geometric tradition of modern South American artists such as Gabriel Orozco.
Remember all those boxes of 35mm photographic slides, now fading and deteriorating in the attic, recording events from another world before the digital camera was invented. In a third series of works, Luis creates collages of old slides which he has found in markets or which have been given to him, reflecting a lost and fading world, some showing personal memories and others recording historic events such as the 20th century space race.