Thursday, 3 March 2011

Artist's Update

Helen, our expedition artist went on a trip around some our alpha groups in the first phase, and here's what she did with the groups. 

I have had amazing first phase spending time with three Alpha Groups. I started off at Sepilok Jungle camp with Alpha 4 and the sun bear conservation project. The first few days were spent setting up camp and starting work on the boardwalk. This was my first experience of living amongst the amazing flora and fauna of the jungle and this is what inspired the art work that myself and the venturer’s undertook. A thunderstorm dominated one evening and we were trapped in the camp, with the thundering sound of the rain and the flashes of lightening illuminating the closeness of the jungle. We had an impromptu art session which resulted in rain inspired drawings and was the basis for a mural that I painted on the wall of the storeroom. The rain also stopped work one morning and we practised our drawing skills producing a range of beautiful still life drawings that I’m hoping to incorporate into a lino print…. when I get a moment…

I then travelled onto Alpha 5 and the Environmental Gravity water feed project at Taliwas. The jungle camp was beautiful, with lots of space and impressively tall trees. Before the art could start I spent the first few days being an extra back for lugging gravel up to the platform site for the massive storage tanks and I had a lot of fun in the mud and taking photos of the beautiful waterfall just downstream from the completed dam site. 

The camp was situated next to a meandering river and upstream from the camp there was an island of stones which became the canvas for my first land art sculpture. Having spent the previous days drawing the natural fauna around me I had noticed the abundance of triangles that nature provides. There was a fallen tree against another which made a triangular frame around the view of the island. On the island from this perspective was a horizontal line of greenery which became the base of a triangle I was to build. I spent several hours one morning replacing the stones from the centre a large triangle I mapped out on the island (yes a bit mad). As the river bank was much higher than the river surface, it took a while to get the perspective just right, and when completed you could walk the river bank and watch the shape of the triangle change. 

The venturer’s attempted their own triangle inspired land art, and it was lovely to see a group make a bench to overlook the sculpture with another triangular frame to view the island sculpture through.

I then moved onto Alpha 3 the Community Gravity water feed at Toboh Pahu. Wow, what a view of Mount Kinabalu they have! This led to an obvious photography project. The view constantly changes as the clouds come across the mountain and as the light changes throughout the day. We set up a few constant positions to take one photo an hour to capture the changes. The idea being that the photos are then set up on a slideshow to make a photo film. Unfortunately it was really misty and the mountain only made a brief appearance on the day we had available! However I am really hoping that future phases will carry on with this idea.

While some venturer’s went and taught at the local school some stayed back and spent a morning drawing and painting some landscape pictures.

The finale to my phase was climbing to the dam site and making a sculpture on the front of the dam. All the venturer’s contributed their efforts, and I’m really looking forward to seeing photos of the sculpture once the protective tarpaulin has been removed and it has the chance to blend into it’s natural surroundings. 

All of the Alpha groups have been using their art supplies and I have been shown some beautiful work that will be part of the end of Expedition exhibition.

Bring on Phase two when I will be spending time with Alpha 6 at the Research project and with Alpha 9 on Dive Island!



Anonymous said...

to Bobby Alpha 9

Lieve Bob, nu weer een blog voor jou. Ik dacht dat de Loop niet langs dive island zou komen, maar ik las dat Helen ook met jullie op pad gaat, dus ik hoop dat zij deze blog meeneemt. Patty is inmiddels uit het ziekenhuis (niets ernstigs) en ik ben met opa en oma naar het ziekenhuis geweest. Daar gaat ook alles naar omstandigheden goed. Ik heb de Raleigh site laten zien, want de computer van O & O is stuk. Zij vonden het natuurlijk heeeel leuk om jou (vooral werkend) te zien. Leuk om dat onverwachte mailtje te krijgen en ik hoop dat je ondanks je neus toch kon duiken. Ik heb je postadres naar je vriendinnen gemaild, dus wie weet ontvang je nog wat. Flip is naar PIOS en ik ga tennissen. xxxxxxxxxxxx, mis je gezelligheid, liefs Mama

Anne Havenga said...

To Bobby Breuer

Lieve BoB! Hoe gaaaat het? Lekker aan het trekken? ik begin daar morgen mee.. omg zo nervous! ben zo bang dat het echt vreselijk gaat worden haha maar ja.. komt goed hoop ik! zwaar project hiervoor gehad? ik dus totaal niet.. environment, heel relaxed en dus bang dat trek een klap ik m´n gezicht wordt haha! oh well, komt goed.
lieve schat, heel veel succes en sterkte. see you sooooon dan gaan we lekker alles doen dat Raleigh verbiedt! xxxx

Anne Havenga said...

To Bente van Keulen

Lieve lieve Bentie!
Hoe gaat het met je? Zie je lachend staan op een foto dus dat moet een goed teken zijn! Mis iedereen wel hoor! Probeer uit te vinden wat je nu aan het doen bent.. environmental? volgens mij heb jij de trek als laatst.. wat leuk! dan reach je the beach en dan is alles klaar! ik begin morgen met trek, environmental hier was heel leuk en gewoon bedden en wc´s.. aan het strand.. moeilijke tijd haha! nu wordt het pas echt afzien.
Honey, heel veel succes! Komt helemaal goed en c u sooon!
xxxxxx Anne

Anonymous said...

Hello Rob,
Hope that you are enjoying your new project.
It was good to see the picture of you at long last.
All is well here. I have taken the dogs for a walk today which they enjoyed lots. Had to give them a bath when we got back as they were so muddy!
Haven't had any news from Bunac or any results yet.
You have had a firm offer from Exeter. Clever boy!
Budgens is still up and running without you HaHa
Love mum

Anonymous said...

hello catrin williams alpha 2. hope you are eating ok i will bring you some crisps when i get out there in a few weeks time!keep enjoying the experience see you soon dad xxx

Mike C said...

To Rob Collier (Alpha 3)
Emails posted today as promised.
All well here.
From Mike Collier

Anonymous said...


You look like your having a great time, improving your DIY skills and all that jazz hahaha :)
I hope you not sick of the "long drop" facilities yet, I know I quickly realised how much I missed western toilets.
It looks like your going to learn to dive soon (I think) YAY!! It’s so cool and you will love it and I will have someone to be a dive nerd with back home, I don’t know if you can tell but I more then a little excited for you hehe!!
I will be joining you on the other side of the world in 3 week’s eeekkkkk, I think I'm even less ready than you were at this point... I have literally nothing, fun times!
Any who I have to get back to writing the most hellish essay in the world ever, no jokes, horrible!
Hope your having fun and enjoying the heat, cannot wait to see you again when your back!
Love you long time!!
Bernie Burczak

Anonymous said...

Hey Laura C (Alpha 9),

Oh my God Lee got a job!!! He's going to work on a cruise ship as a photographer/videographer. He'll be gone by the time you get back I think - he's on the ship by the end of the month! He does have to fork out about £1000 for equipment etc first though, plus get his hair cut, hee! I got my old job back at Coral (good thing they were desperate!)

Can't wait till you're back and I can hear what you've been up to!!! It's so weird not being able to contact you directly :s

~ Boo xxx

talktotilley said...

For Hannah Tilley Alpha 6
Hi Han,
Having lots of problems sending these messages. This is a practice one.Mum

talktotilley said...

For Hannah Tilley Alpha 6
Hi Hannie Bee,
I am now able to get through so here I go. It is Sunday, sun is shining,spring is here, Max is here for lunch. We could have done with a bit of big sisterly input at this stage but no you are half way round the world looking around the jungle.Honestly!
I know you want to know all about the new hoover.It is red, and is so powerful that Deedum is looking decidedly nervous. One tweet too many and......Needless to say Mickey is very nervous without you bullying him into submission. I'll keep this one short but will write again. Loved the jungle art. Royal Academy eat your heart out.
Miss you hugely . Love Mum

Sophie Barratt said...

For Paula Barratt

Hi P - I see that phase 2 is now underway which must mean you're approaching the halfway point of this venture! Hope the first half has been wonderful and the second half will be too. All is well here - I am a bit all-consumed by work but we had a lovely time in Mexico, the boys had an absolute whale of a time in the pool all day every day. The grownups even got a chance for a poolside cocktail or two :-) It looks as though we are over the worst of the winter and headed towards spring here, thank goodness.

Good luck in phase 2!

Much love,

talktotilley said...

For Hannah Tilley Alpha 6
Hi Han,
Thought I'd keep you up to date with a few things here.Back at school today after the weekend. Meant to go to the Harlequin to do some shopping yesterday but I have been watching a new Danish thriller called the Killing on I player -14 hour long episodes so far and it is really gripping so I didn't get into town.I am completely obsessed! There has also been a new costume drama on the box called South Riding with david Morrissey (the colonel in Sense and Sensibility). Easy watching but not a patch on Jane Austen.i have about 6 million essays to mark tonight and I am going to die of boredom.
Hope you are eating well. Any leeches had a nibble yet?
A huge hug from me.
Lots of love Mum

Anonymous said...

For Leah (Alpha 1)
Hi hope all is going well and that your not being grumpy any more. I think that your in the right place its been blumin freezing here, so make the most of the warmth and the experience as you'll be on the plane back before you know it. Take care, love from all by the sea xxxxx

mturton said...

Hello Helen Love the sculpture and the idea of Nature's triangles. Bet the landscapes are good too - ready for the final exhibition. Have you got your socks clean yet? How are your feet ? Perhaps you are diving by now and cleaning up the coral. All the best to everyone

Caitlin said...

For Louise Hutley, Alpha 7

Hello Louise! Hope you're having an amazing time and please don't come back too tanned, can't wait to see you when you're finally home (come up to london for the royal wedding???). England is freezing and horrible, so jealous of where you are right now. Miss your face

Caitlin xxxx

Anonymous said...

To Andy McV Alpha 4
Hi, all looks fantastic fun, love the bearded jungle man look. Views from Alpah 3 look awesome and now you've got orangutans - what could be better. All well at home, hope our letter has got to you. England versus Scotland this weekend, we've a straight win record so far. Take care
Mum, Dad & Will

heidi said...

A big HELLO to Helen from Heidi, Ja, Chloe, George and Holly. We are all so so impressed with the fantastic work and art you are doing. George wants me to tell you he can now draw the number 4! There's a letter in the post hope you get it ok.
Loads of love from us all xxx