Nine months after leaving London for our South American Adventure we’re back to finish the Traveling Artist Documentary! The richness of our experiences imprinted in our minds, the cultures and kindness of the people we met along the way indelibly in our hearts.
The stories are too many to tell however for a taste of the highlights, read on…
Never kiss a Piranha - The Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon winds its way throughout South America like a powerful snake, retracting and recoiling with a life-force of its own. In between filming and art in the Ecuadorian Amazon, we found ourselves some light entertainment. Twice we went out on a rickety old canoe and used twigs and raw meat to catch piranha. They immediately take the bait and our camera person Shannon caught five. Ian didn't get any but decided he'd unhook them and throw the smaller ones back in the water. Before throwing a small one back, he thought he would give it a kiss. This little one didn't take too kindly to Ian and ‘CHOMP!’ it took a chunk out his lip. There was blood everywhere and you could see the jagged tooth marks. The others in the boat thought he was mad and the Amazon Indian guide laughed and said ‘in all my 50 years as a guide, I have never seen anyone try and kiss a Piranha! Thankfully, albeit for a scar, Ian’s lip is fully recovered. However, the story lives on through art…
A day of Spacemen, Dreads and Sand dunes Our day started by flying over the mysterious Nasca lines in the morning; these are huge designs such as spiders, birds and even a spaceman that can only be seen from the sky and are over 2000 years old. Who built them and why? Then we visited Chauchilla cemetery where the ancient mummies sit amongst the sands of time, with their heads exposed, and revealing that most of them had dreads! Then off into the Peruvian desert we went to spend an arvo sand-boarding and dune-buggying. We partied into the night before wandering off into the dunes to sleep under the stars. A fantastic day that we won’t forget.
The Rainbow Centre, Urubamba, Peru. We headed off in a public bus jammed full of Peruvians and wound our way through the Sacred Valley to find Urubamba where the Rainbow Centre is. We had the most rewarding day of all in South America where we painted, told stories and shared smiles with the wonderful children from the local orphanage. The kids produced some magnificent artworks and were thrilled to receive the great paintings from the kids at the Shadwell Centre in London as part of an art exchange. What a magical experience - it made me feel just as proud as them.
Galapagos Islands (an archipelago of islands off the coast of Ecuador) Within five minutes of arriving a huge land iguana waltzed on by. We were certain he'd been 'planted' to enthrall the eager tourists queuing to get through customs, but no, they were everywhere! We had an incredible nine days of simultaneous wowing, oohing and aahing at the plethora of wildlife both in and out of the water. We swam with sharks, stingrays and seals, without feeling a hint of fear, well, maybe a little. We saw bizarre lunar type landscapes, rainforests, beautiful beaches, and boulders which turned out to be gigantic land tortoises!
South America was incredibly inspirational. I have produced some dynamic artworks and have enough ideas to keep my brushes busy for a long time to come.