Since September 22, when Tietê River Day is celebrated, Eduardo Srur has been working on its concrete banks to create a monumental work that will be on permanent display in the city.
The "Words that Save" intervention consists of the painting of two colorful snakes, made on a large scale, with words in Portuguese and Tupi-Guarani inside. Covering more than 6,000 square meters, the work can be seen in both directions of the Tietê riverbank, near the Remédios bridge, in the city of São Paulo.
The idea was born during the pandemic, when the artist returned to painting and found inspiration in indigenous art to create an optimistic message for society in difficult times of Covid-19.
Srur explains: "The project started with the word "TIETÊ", which originates from the language of the native peoples of Brazil and means "true river". In this sense, I chose words that had meaning for my survival in the city during the pandemic. WATER, LIFE, ART and OKA (which means "house"), written on the snakes' bodies, reveal a concept of wisdom, ancestral awareness, renewal and health. The work is also linked to climate change. The snakes are painted on both banks of the river, facing each other in opposite directions. On one side, the blue snake represents the power of water. On the other, the red snake represents the power of fire. We know that the "Tietê" we see in the city today is just a sad simulacrum of a real river, and our "Oka" - which is planet Earth - is showing alarming signs of global warming: floods, fires and droughts are increasingly recurring in Brazil and around the world. Humanity urgently needs to reconnect with nature and the sacred. And art is one possible way."
The project is commissioned by the Cultural Action Program (ProAC Direto) of the Secretariat for Culture, Economy and Creative Industry and has the support of the State Secretariat for the Environment and Akzo Nobel's Coral Paints.
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