Artwork by Adriana Varejão telling the story of Brazil's colonial history ©Inhotim/Adriana Varejão

Work by leading artist Adriana Varejão will adorn venues during next Summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in order to showcase Brazilian culture and traditions, it has been announced.

Rio-based Varejão is one of the host nation's leading artists, producing work spanning painting, drawing, sculpture, installation and photography.

Much of this focuses on the history of European colonialism on Europe, and how this impacts on the present day.

One of her most famous pieces is "Celacanto provoca maremoto”, a display that uses Portuguese tiling and a baroque style to mix imagery of the sea and angels. 

The work, an installation displayed at a giant outdoor art gallery in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, will be reproduced on huge drapes that will wrap around the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in the main Games venue hub in Barra de Tijuca.

“Straight away I thought of the work by Adriana Varejão," said Rio 2016 culture director Carla Camurati, tasked with finding a display to decorate the venue.

"She is important for Rio and the work also has an aquatic theme.”

Adriana Varejão's artwork is set to be installed around the Rio 2016 Aquatics Arena ©Rio 2016/Ministry of Sport
Adriana Varejão's artwork is set to be installed around the Rio 2016 Aquatics Arena ©Rio 2016/Ministry of Sport

Varejão’s work has been displayed in the Tate Modern in London, Paris’s Fondation Cartier, the Guggenheim in New York and Tokyo’s Hara Museum.

Displaying the culture and heritage of a host nation is a key theme of any Olympic and Paralympics Games, with the two most recent summer editions at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 both providing notable examples.

Beijing used their Opening Ceremony to showcase the rich diversity of Chinese history dating back to ancient times,.

London, meanwhile, focussed on Britain's industrial revolution, National Health Service, literary heritage, popular music and culture.

This should also continue a theme of eyecatching aquatics stadiums, following Beijing's Water Cube - now set to host curling at the 2022 Winter Games - and London's iconic Zaha Hadid-designed wave-like roof.

It comes in the final stages of construction at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, declared 96 per cent completed last month. 

Brazilian art is expected to be promoted all around the host city during the Games.

"The idea is to involve other museums and artists, not just in the Olympic Park, but in the Games culture programme in general," added Camurati.