Mangrove Shortstory, 2005

Photo: Courtesy the artist | Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo

Watercolor on paper
152 x 210 cm

Deeply involved with the life forces of water, Janaina Tschäpe’s paintings, drawings, and watercolors teem with aquatic beings and organic universes emerging from a subjective process that oscillates between immersion, meditative contemplation, and conversations with scientists. In her works, water is a healing source, a transformational force, and a mysterious realm inhabited by sirens and beasts. Conjuring fantastical aquatic landscapes inspired by biological life, Tschäpe captures water, its fluidity, and its mythological dimensions, as well as its ecological importance as a habitat for a multitude of creatures, from jellyfish to algae and octopuses.
In the watercolor Mangrove Shortstory, the fluidity of aquatic life softly blends with the beams of light that sneak through the leaves, portraying the muddiness of the mangrove, a tropical biome adapted to low-oxygen conditions that exists in intertidal coastal wetlands in tropical waters, silently protecting the porous coastlines from erosion and storm surges. Straddling land and sea, their delicate root-like structures feed on air and mud, while sheltering oysters, crabs, and barnacles. Mangrove forests are among the most threatened habitats globally, with losses exceeding 60 percent in some regions.
Born in Munich, Germany, in 1973. Lives in New York, US.