Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Artist's Blog: The End

I write this two days after our venturers departed and it seems that the time has quickly disappeared from under our feet. We've been plastered in paint, busy filling our art journals,  making Valentine's Day cards, designing campaigns for the World Days and painting health posts, walls and Venturers' toilets.

It's been a fantastic ten weeks and I've seen some amazing work produced. The enthusiasm has been phenomenal and I want to thank all the PMs for being so facilitating with the projects, even though they've been busy building, conserving and trekking. And of course, an enormous shout-out to our Venturers. I've had the pleasure of seeing some truly creative work produced over the last three months and I'm sure there will be some whose names I will come across again in the foreseeable future.

My last post is dedicated to the final projects here on 13A; the first being Phase 2 Changeover's art activity, and secondly, the health post in La Carona, Conte Burika, where Zulu 9 painted a mural on the front of the new building.

Phase 2 saw our attentions turned to World Water Day for March 22nd. Following our campaign which ran through the duration of phase, changeover was the perfect opportunity to surmise all that we had learnt from the last nineteen days about water, it's scarcity around the world, and access to safe, drinking sources.

It seemed fitting then to turn our attention to those artists who have depicted water in their oeuvre, and one of the most famous paintings to include this element is Japanese artist, Hokusai, whose work 'The Great Wave of Kanagawa' has become an defining piece in the history of art.

Born around 1760, Hokusai is best known as the author of the woodblock print series, 'Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji'. His work came to represent the opening-up of Japan to the rest of the world, their burgeoning travel boom, and Hokusai's own personal obsession with Mount Fuji. By the nineteenth century, many European artists came to be influenced by his work, including Monet, Renoir and the Art Nouveau movement.

One of the areas most in need of a spruce here at Fieldbase has always been the venturer toilets and considering the nature of what we were honouring, it seemed apt to highlight water sanitation in one of the most fundamental spaces.

We co-ordinated one side of the toilet walls, mapping out the wave and then dividing it into ten areas, allowing for each X-Ray group to contribute to the painting. Good job guys!

Seven days after deployment, I made the journey to Conte Burika, to the La Carona community who have had a relationship with Raleigh over the last six years. Our latest project with them was to build a new health post- a very much needed centre which would relieve individuals from the enormous journey they have to make to Golfito, should they fall ill. 

Reynaldo, the community chairman, had specified that they would like to have images which reflected their environment, and included the local wildlife. Zulu 9 took over the front of the post and divided it into two sections- one dedicated to the forest, and the other, to the beach. We completed it in time for the inauguration ceremony. The group also started taking the community's handprints and dotting them along the side of the building and created a beautiful montage with as many people we could gather during the ceremony. 

At the end of expedition, I asked for every group to bring back with them their used plastic bottles so that they could be decorated and used on the terrace on the last few days. Gabby took a beautiful picture of them as tea lights. 

And it's here that we come to the end. A big thank you to everybody for a brilliant three months.   

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