Tuesday 28th July

| BY Paul Toner

Buy a Print to Help Preserve the Amazon Rainforest

Whoever came up with the first-ever photography fundraiser, kudos to you. It’s a rather cracking idea! Not only do you get to support a cause you’re deeply passionate about, but you also get a cracking print to decorate your humble abode with. A win-win, if you ask us. The past few weeks have seen both anti-racism fundraisers set up, as well as organisations supporting invaluable charities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now a group of esteemed artists have come together to form Unity, a non-profit organisation set up by the Rainforest Foundation to help preserve both the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous communities.

Focusing on works which involve nature; trees and flowers to be specific, contributing artists include: Liz Johnson Artur, Mark Leckey, Jermaine Francis, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rineke Dijkstra and Laurence Ellis. The latter got involved with the project after travelling to the Amazon last year to document the work of the Rainforest Foundation. “Often US and European environmental movements believe they ‘know best’ when it comes to preservation, in fact, their intervention can cause more harm than good,” explains Ellis. “From an environmental justice perspective, the Rainforest Foundation has been one of the most progressive organisations, from the very early work in the amazon almost 30 years ago, they understood that the best way to preserve the rainforests was to support the indigenous communities which call these forests home.”

Selling posters for £50 and prints for £150, this fundraiser is part of a long term initiative that uplifts the work of the Rainforest Foundation. “This is an issue which will be ongoing for all of our lifetimes, so we wanted this reflected in our first campaign,” says Ellis. “All the artists were invited to present imagery which was their personal representation of trees or forests – hopefully evoking an appreciation of how important trees and forests are to us on a daily basis. The rainforests can feel quite remote and exotic, hopefully this makes people connect with the issue from a more personal perspective, bringing those forests home.”

Top Image by Laurence Ellis. The Unity fundraiser for the Rainforest Foundation is open now.