Susan Leen

The Noble Island.
The Noble Island is a site-specific project undertaken in Rio de Janeiro on a residency program at Largo das Artes.
The project contrasts the mythical island of Hy-Brasil with contemporary issues in Rio de Janeiro, looking at ideas of utopia and the role that fiction has in the creation of history and cultural identity.
Hy-Brasil began appearing in maps, of the coast of Ireland circa 1325 and predated the writings of Thoma Moore's 'Utopia' as well as the christening of Brasil, the name coming from the redwood dye, which was extremely expensive and associated with wealth and abundance.

'The Noble Island' is an ephemeral intervention in the square at Largo do Sao Francisco de Paula in Rio de Janeiro’s downtown. The lines drawn represent the contours of Hy-Brasil and the division in the island due to two mountain ranges, also alluding to the ‘Cidade Partida’ the name sometimes used to refer to the social inequalities in Rio de Janerio. The powdery lines drawn in tapioca represent the contours of the utopic island location and problematise the notion of real and imaginary borders in everyday life.