Project Yemanjá 

In summer 2016, 500 flowers set sail down the Regent’s Canal in London from Camden Lock to Granary Square, Kings Cross. This event marked the culmination of a summer of paper flower making in libraries, homes, market spaces and outdoor squares across the Borough of Camden.

The project was part of Camden Sentido, Camden’s annual arts programme coinciding with the 2016 Rio Para/Olympics and partnered with the São Paulo Art Biennale.

Project Yemanjá tells the story of the goddess Yemanjá who is celebrated across Brazil as the queen of the ocean, the protector of people travelling across waters and fishermen at sea.

In Brazil every year people go on pilgrimages to leave gifts of flowers and floating candles in the sea. Objects of femininity are also placed in baskets from little perfume bottles to deodorant sticks as offerings to Yemanjá. In return it is said that Yemanjá will grant their wishes for good health and safety for themselves and their families.

As the lead artist on the project with Quiet Down There, I worked with local community members to create hundreds of flowers from recycled paper and share stories about travel, movement across water and hopes for the future.