Oca Closet in Cabreúva Wood – Wtih artisans from Brazil

by YANKATU Brazil

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The “Oca Closet” welcomes you to Xingu, its traditions, its people. A people that welcomed designer Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros and liked the idea of working with her to bring to life pieces that respect their knowledge and value their history.

At Kaupüna Village in Xingu Indigenous Territory, MT, Brazil, artisans Yaritsu Waura, Kayanaku e Kuyawalu Aweti, Pakuiura, Paipualu, and Wayuni e Kuyawalu Mehinako took turns weaving the mat that was incorporated into the piece. They used cotton threads dyed by Mattricaria, from Brasilia, with bark and leaves from trees harvested by Kulilkyrda on the outskirts of the village, creating a Xingu’s color chart.

It’s a love story and a real story, showing that it is possible to innovate and maintain tradition at the same time. That it is possible to add without losing the identities of the parties. That we can overcome challenges together and use technology to our advantage to bridge distances when it is not possible to be together.

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Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros is a designer, visual artist and researcher, founder of Yankatu - Design with Soul. With a degree in business administration and interior design, Maria Fernanda has worked in the field for over 20 years. She migrated to furniture design in 2014, creating Yankatu, a design studio through which she carries out projects with social impact alongside Brazilian artisans. The encounter with the art world happened naturally in 2020 when the search for the appreciation of Brazilian artisans and their knowledge generates a growing discomfort regarding invisibility and lack of knowledge about the reality of Brazilian cultural traditions. Her work is based on relationships that go beyond the gaze and are established on mutual trust and admiration. His production spans a long timelessness and also a continuity, resulting from the privilege and fluidity of the otherness of established relationships. It is in the power of art that she finds the way to share her learning, activate the gaze and listening of others, seeking to generate in them the same discomfort she feels and, in this way, encourage them to act. It is through a relational aesthetic that she aims to join forces because the reaction of the other, the spectator, is essential for the realization of her art, which does not end with the created object but rather expands into the immaterial and impalpable field. Her production involves various materials without settling on anyone, despite her familiarity with solid wood. It goes from clay to feathers with the same lightness that conveys strong messages in a poetic way.
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