Vanessa da Silva: Muamba Grove #3 and #4

Vanessa da Silva’s work includes sculpture, installation and performance focusing on issues of immigration, notions of territory, identity and displacement.

Born and raised in Sao Paulo but living in London for over a decade, da Silva reflects upon her own experiences as a Latin American immigrant in Europe to consider Brazilian identity and otherness. She is interested in the space between nationalities and the complicated borders where identities and cultures meet and exist together.

Movement and the body lie at the centre of the Muamba Grove series and the sculptures are strongly linked with choreography and transformation. The series continues da Silva’s investigations of colour, scale and interactions between the human body and nature. The artist identifies each of the sculptures as ‘unrooted bodies’, genderless, neither human nor part of nature. Her works are hybrids that are in a constant state of flux, metamorphosing into something still unknown.

Da Silva’s process often involves carving sculptures concurrently and reacting intuitively to the forms as she works into the surfaces of the materials. This process offers an indication of the inseparable link between the body and the sculpture – the artist’s own body becomes entwined within the making of the forms. The vibrant use of colour and carefully considered scale contributes to the sense of dynamic and fluid movement.

A performance piece was also developed as part of the Muamba Grove series in 2019. Choreographed by Cristina Mendanha, it illustrates the integral elements of dance and movement in the artist’s practice.

Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Duarte Sequeira