These spectacular paintings of the powerful Wondjina were created 5000 years ago. The figures are life size or even larger and are cloud and rain spirits, the arcs of color around their heads depict lightning, clouds, and rain.
The Kimberley cruise workshop with PODAS was a great success. The limestone river gorges are spectacular and make for mind-bending reflections. One highlight was a helicopter ride to photograph estuarine abstracts.
More images featuring the seas off Semporna, a small town on the east coast of Sabah State, Malaysia. I was continuing to photograph the amazing Bajau ‘sea gypsies’. These children don’t go to school, or speak Malay, and the families are not even counted as Malaysian. They are off the grid in every sense- living in stilted houses atop coral reefs. These people will be among the first to permanently lose their homes (and most likely their way of life) as sea levels rise. I found some villages of sea weed farmers, and you will notice their method, particularly in the aerials. Speaking of which- I was finally able to get a helicopter after waiting in limbo for four days. But the timing was the best possible window of weather for the entire five days! I continued to shoot from my plane’s window seat on my way to Sydney, via Kuala Lumpur. The huge cumulus clouds are typical of the tropics. They contain an amazing amount of energy, and as night falls provide spectacular lightning shows. You will notice a river flowing red with sediments from inland- obvious signs of further rainforest clearing to make way for palm oil plantations.
After a few hiccups in getting here, I finally landed in Tawau, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Following an early breakfast and a 45-minutes boat ride to Sabah Park’s jetty at Bohey Dulang, my journey to observe and photograph the unique culture of the oceanic Bajau people was coming to fruition. The islands of Maiga and Bodgaya serve as home to not more than 30 families of Bajau sea gypsies who adapted themselves to settle in stilt houses- though some still prefer to spend more time out in the sea!
Sunday was my last day in town before heading off to Borneo and Australia for the next couple of weeks. I had a great time teaching a workshop to a wonderful group on Saturday here in Seattle, thank you to all who attended. A couple of good friends and I drove around the ship yards in Tacoma and Seattle looking to see what sort of “found art” we might come across… something gritty, with an edge to it is what was on the agenda today. It was a great day of working these rail cars looking for abstract compositions, and I am very pleased where it all came together.