International bodypainter and fine artist Filippo Ioco will be at the Naa’Waya’Sum Indigenous Coastal Gardens in Tofino next week to paint four models from head-to-toe camouflage into surrounding old growth forest landscapes.
The art project was commissioned by Canopy, a global environmental non-profit dedicated to protecting the world’s forests, species, and climate, and to helping advance Indigenous communities’ rights. The environment organization hopes the unique initiative will become a vehicle for change.
“We know there is a huge scientific body of literature around the need to project ancient, endangered forests around the world. We know how important they are for interrupting the climate crisis, we know how integral they are for preserving biodiversity, but despite that overwhelming body of evidence, we’re still not seeing both our local and global decision makers taking the actions that they need to take to protect these irreplaceable eco-systems,” said Canopy communications director Mike Hudema.
“Art touches us in a different way than science. It touches our heart. We’re hoping this project will speak to the heart of those decisions makers and will help lead to the protection of these vital landscapes,” he said.
According to Hudema, Naa’Waya’Sum Indigenous Coastal Gardens was selected as the location for the bodypainting project because the gardens are a place of Indigenous conservation and education.
“We really wanted to support that,” said Hudema, noting that one of the reasons Canopy was founded was as a result of the War in the Woods.
Naa’Waya’Sum Gardens will be open to the public during the art project, however, Hudema is encouraging viewers to “please respect the process as much as possible.”