AMAS is Esperanto for Love

One Hackney Festival July 2012

103,000 people came out on 21 July to welcome the Olympic torch to the borough and join the One Hackney Festival.

Events kicked off with a colourful parade, where 400 carnival performers from Rio joined local groups to brighten the streets and build ties between London and the 2016 Olympic host city.The procession set off from Pitfield Street, N1, and featured over 1,500 performers. Led by ‘St George and the Dragon’ – the patron saint of samba – the parade snaked its way up through Dalston and Stoke Newington, finishing at Clissold Park, Bernie Spain Gardens the Thames Festival September 2013.
This Carnival Art installation is a piece that both echoes the Olympic celebration of our place in the world, whilst simultaneously celebrating our capacity for unique national self-expression. Arising from a collaboration with Renato Lage, one of Brazil’s most famous carnival designers, Paul Mclaren of Shademakers has embraced the scale and flamboyance of Rio Carnival and created both a homage to and a uniquely British interpretation of the experience.Worker Ants converge on the raw bones of Amas, industriously building and connecting the elements of the piece.

Lions cavort, the lions of Trafalgar Square brought to life and a revisiting of the emblematic lions of the England Football shirt, here portrayed as vividly coloured pigeon-chasing animals of courage and playfulness.

Roses, red and white, refer to the great battle for English identity in our past. Angels, derived from the ancient Greek spirit of excellence Arte, rise to the sky as an icon of hope and purpose. They also refer to the glories of our industrial past directly and the achievements of the British car industry. The show becomes a wall of costumed performers, glamorous Samba dancers in costume parade before the Amas Carnival Piece, as an award-winning musical orchestra drums, sings and plays up a hip-stirring storm. A moment of sunshine, of escape, of release and a truly unique moment in Carnival Art.
Amas, as a performance piece, represented the common ground for Carnival Art as a collaboration between leading figures of contemporary British Carnival.
In 2012, the work became the collaboration of British and Brazilian artists and performers during the the London Olympic Games and the Cultural Olympiad. The AMAS installation, addressed the importance of cultural shift in our society, ultimately aimed at denying the typical and stereo formulated carnival superfluities using grotesque and cryptic imagery we intended to court controversy and inspire thought, changing the perception of the public from anything more than Carnival as an innocuous and frivolous pastime.

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