The Kinnara Fund Opens “Living with Cork” Exhibition and Spotlights Interview with Mayor Hélder Guerreiro

The Kinnara Fund, a non-profit organization championing the integration of bioethics into societal decision-making, is thrilled to announce the opening of its latest bio-art exhibition, "Living with Cork" This exhibition, located in the heart of Portugal's Alentejo region, emphasizes the significance of cork ecosystems and their role in environmental sustainability.


The exhibition focuses on the significance of the cork tradition, which relies on the sustainable harvesting of cork oak trees. This unique bio-art installation is the creative work of Marta de Menezes, a Portuguese artist who spent her childhood in the Alentejo region.  This installation is a comment and interpretation of the ecosystem that is characteristic of the Alentejo region of Portugal that surrounds the Cork oak.  It interlaces untamed cork in its native form, alongside transformed counterparts with components curated to bestow a sensory encounter.

The exhibit also showcases the works of renowned American designer Robert Marinelli.  His cork-based furniture and design pieces are cleverly embedded within de Menezes’s cork labyrinth, symbolizing the interconnectedness of creation, its source, and their interdependency.  The collection presented by Robert Marinelli is meticulously handcrafted, emphasizing the artisanal process and organic nature of the materials used. By incorporating cork curls, shavings and pressed cork, Marinelli looked to capture the natural textures and patterns found in cork oak bark.

Interviewed at the premiere of the exhibition, Mayor Hélder Guerreiro of the Odemira region, discussed the importance of the cork tree and its surrounding ecosystem at length. "The cork tree has an ecosystem that's truly remarkable. It's not just about the cork, but the entire ecosystem that protects the land," said Debra Ann Smith, CEO of the Kinnara Fund. The Mayor added, "If we don't act now, our land will soon resemble the Sahara. The cork tree plays a crucial role in maintaining the temperature of the soil and retaining water."

Mayor Hélder Guerreiro highlighted the recent wildfires that ravaged the Odemira region, destroying over 8000 hectares of land. "The land is now completely black, resembling a lunar system. If we experience heavy rains this winter, we risk soil erosion," he warned. The exhibition also emphasizes the need to diversify the forest. "We need a different kind of forest. With cork, we can halt the spread of eucalyptus and allow the local ecosystem to be reborn," the Mayor stated.

Art plays a pivotal role serving as a powerful communication tool to convey the urgency of the situation. "Art can indeed bring about change," the Mayor affirmed. Debra Ann Smith concluded the interview by expressing her gratitude and emphasizing the importance of ongoing dialogue. "This is just the beginning. We plan to host this exhibition annually and engage in more in-depth discussions with stakeholders, including the Mayor, to ensure the preservation of our precious cork ecosystems."

About The Kinnara Fund

Inspired by the mythological Kinnara, described as part human and part bird, whose role is to guard human well-being in times of trouble, The Kinnara Fund aims to raise awareness and act as a catalyst for change. By reaching people across various platforms, The Kinnara Fund strives to make science more accessible and relatable, promoting bioethics in public, institutional, and corporate sectors, thereby advocating for the welfare of humanity and the planet's safety.

Media Contact
Company Name: The Kinnara Fund
Contact Person: Marcellina Garcia
Email: Send Email
Phone: 202.630.4448
Address:712 H Street NE Suite 2166
City: Washington
State: DC 20002
Country: United States

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