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!


Monday, 28 February 2011

Phase 2 Allocations

After the thrill of allocations, the groups settled in to become bonded teams who have now set out to their exciting projects all around Sabah. 

And here are the results of who went where. 

Weather conditions have once again prevented Alpha 1 from entering their original project site in Kampung Sonsogon Magandai. Thanks to our excellent project partners, AFC, Alpha 1 has a new project in Kampung Solungkapit, building a gravity water feed system for a population of about 200 people. 

The venturers who will be teamed up with PMs Shaun, Neil and Clare are Robert H James, Kristan M Emery, Jonathan H Downing, Marian A Sue, Leah Cunningham, Barney P Rowland, Christopher Twydell,       Theo Tibbitts, Maud C Versteylen and Akram Lemseffer

Going to Alpha 2 to continue their work of building compost toilets on Pulau Maliangin with PMs Graham, Paula, Tom and photographer Belinda are Amber R Marriott, Mathieu R Langeslag, Katherine A Twelves, Nicola Anne Bell, Tom Day Goodacre, Roscoe Simon Blevins, Nick Harman, William A Low, Catrin Williams, 
Ciara L McGlade and Mathias T Bidault

To Alpha 3 with PMs Rory, Rob and admin Kate to build a gravity water feed in Kampung Toboh Pahu are
 Robert M East, Eline A van der Ploeg, Onne P van der Graaf, Arthur Derom, Matthew Jones, Carly A Fletcher, Georgia Harvey, Sisi Liu, Frederick M Pugh, Jenny R Kohnhorst and Callum M Junor  

Saving the sunbears at Sepilok with Alpha 4's PMs Tom and Leanne are Daniel J Stephenson, Kelly Brown, Thomas F Massicotte, Thomas Shelton, Charlotte P Dickson, Jerri K Butler, Tijmen G Boer, Isobel H Reid, Max Beelaerts, Cheryl K Emvula, Rebecca Hutchens and Andrew J McVitty

With PMs Helen and Petr to build a gravity water feed system for the studies centre in Taliwas are, Seng Fung Wong, Hidde Hinloopen, Rhianydd S Jeffreys, Timothy Browning, Anjalee R Patel, Ryan Hoey, Bente L van Keulen, Thomas Watson, Adam Hext, Ria (Alexandria) Hanish-Oakes and Michael Waller

Alpha 6's intrepid team, will consist of PMs Amy and Stu, and ventutrers, Benjamin H Aisbitt, Samuel J Willetts, Denise P De Souza, Rosalind Ingram, Annabelle C Chelsom, James D Astbury, Lee Cockin, Hannah Tilley, Jonathan P Hoskin, Christopher Aylward and Rebecca Gould

Alpha 6 will be relocating from Kampung Monguwou to Kampung Dalamason to see if they can find weird and wonderful creatures in the jungles nearby. 

Ready for the island for some diving lessons together with PMs Dick and Max in Alpha 7 are Pim Rusius, Stefan J Otto, Louise Hutley, Charlotte L Jackson, Joe Mangan, Fiona R Wiedmann, Camilo A Gonzalez Rodriguez, Florence R Hayes, Joseph Howell, Mica Murphy and James E Cook. After Mamutik Alpha 7 will be heading over to Long Pasia for a challenging 12-day trek. 

Alpha 8's PMs James and Charlie will be trekking the rainforests of Long Pasia for 12 days together with  Syazrina R Saharudin, Stefan J Pollitt, Simon Williams, William Mackintosh, Fenella Maudslay, Bethany J Corfe, Pieter Verbeek, Avril Howard, Ashleigh R Irvine, Nina L Clifton and Lorne Paterson. After their hard work on trek they will be off to Mamutik for their turn with some diving lessons.

And finally, Aplha 9's Johnny and John will be trekking, diving and trekking again with Samuel H Mizen, Jenni Birch, Gregory P Vieux-O'Connor, Paz Nansi, Nicholas Swaffer, Vivianne B Breuer, Laura Coombes, Kelly M Vincent, Sarah K Barnes, Samuel Clift and Daniel Razmy Mohd Husni. 

Unlike the other trek groups, Alpha 9 will be exploring the Kiulu Valley and the Crocker Range on their trek, with 6 days on dive island in between. 

That's all from us right now, but stay tuned for updates from our artist Helen, who will tell us about the artwork that some of the groups have been working on in Phase 1!

Goodbye Phase One….Hello Phase Two!

As the first phase came to an end, the venturers boarded buses and boats, and travelled from all over Sabah to make it back to Base Camp.

Base Camp was all abuzz with all the chatter going on, venturers and volunteer managers swapping stories and catching up with each other. Come evening time, they had their skits ready to impress the other groups with. 

Well done Alpha 1 for winning with their ‘Oracle’ performance and also a special mention for Alpha 2 who won the ‘Come Dine with Me’ competition for the first phase!

After the excitement of getting back to Base Camp and catching up with all the friends they made at the start of expedition, it was time for the venturers to say goodbye to their Alpha groups from phase one and find out where they would be going for the second phase! To say that the atmosphere was suspenseful would be too obvious an understatement!

They immediately set to work with name games, sorting out their food and supplies and other preparations. Once that was out of the way a mass game of robot wars was a welcome way to round off the busy afternoon!


Early on Sunday morning (breakfast was at 5.00am!) the groups packed up and prepared to board the buses for phase two of Expedition 11B. find out who went where for phase two in the next blog post!