Thursday, 27 March 2008

The Naga Installation on the Siem Reap River, for World Water Day

This beautiful installation by The Rubbish Project, although completed by a worthy team of committed and energetic volunteers would not have occurred at all without artist
Leang Seckon.

Seckon, your energy, creativity, drive and artistic integrity cause me to admire you more and more the longer I know you. You are Simply Fabulous!

Who would have thought it possible to complete this beauty in 8 short days?

225m long
1.3m diameter...
about 40 lengths of nylon all the way along her

We lost track - but in the vicinity of

300 000 staples
more than 100 000 pieces of handcut plastic
around 10 kilometres of nylon
150 kg of recycled plastic
more than 600 lights
and certainly a lot of hours of working together!!!

This is the first time to our knowledge such an installation has been constructed in Cambodia or by a Cambodian artist. And we think the timeframe it was achieved in (8 days and a few more for installation and lighting) makes this Naga a symbol of the pure goodness that occurs when grassroots volunteerism meets the arts and the concern we all share about the environment.

Let's love our water, people, and use less plastic and dispose of it more carefully!

Saturday morning

We are so Burberry! The bag.. the undies.. the shirt and one other person had the satin necktie..

flags looking beautiful as everyone knew they would!

more preparations

who is that gorgeous girl with the piglet curls?

work it - strut it- work it-
so fabulous, even just in the practice!
just chilling - a very hot morning

Saturday morning preparations

Everyone agreed the dance performances were electrifying and world class - problem is we all were busy and have no photos of their actual performance - any kind souls who were there and would like to email to me pls do so... floddy at gmail

Madame Dy Saveth - the brains behind the model training choreography and training.

Christi Abby and jessi - just gorgeous! You all were stars on the night

Sata, Belle, and her mother. Where do you all come from - so talented, so beautiful, so purehearted.. you must have dropped straight from heaven!

Friday, 21 March 2008

Tomorrow is World Water Day: Reflections

.. and the Naga is almost ready.

Last night felt bitter sweet as we realised it was the last chance to take photos of her without her lights. The beauty of the structure I have found powerfully affecting as she unexpectedly takes on different light, and shadow. In pieces under Darryl's house she was beautiful, but bursting onto the Siem Reap River, bursting from the plastic which lies hidden beneath so many waterways, she has a new power.

The reflection the greened Siem Reap River affords was unexpected. Perhaps the deepest pleasure comes watching everyone coming down the street do a double take, stop to look, ask, take photos, show their grandchildren. Woohoo!!! Cambodian people are getting the link from the powerful traditional icon which the naga is, to the current environmental crises in Cambodia. Seckon's brilliant allusions are easily understood. A naga has appeared covered in plastic to point to us caring more for our environment. Somehow, surely together in true Cambodian style, communities can coalesce - first discussing then changing the way we are living on this beautiful land that is Srok Khmae.

This is my first experience of the life that an artwork of this size possesses... resonating the energies hundreds of people who helped birth her. There is a powerful parallel between the collective focussed work that produced this object, and how we need to really look at and address environmental issues.

Anyway, pls click for more on World Water Day and our page

Short video of the flags being raised in front of FCC Angkor

Thursday, 20 March 2008

naga with head...

Flags up at the FCC Angkor

All laid out on the lawn

A man up a tree.
Two men at the bottom of the tree holding the ladder

Seckon and the fish

With the completion of the structure of the naga our attention has turned to the festivities this Saturday night at the FCC Angkor. This evening as the sun set behind this beautiful building, the flags were raised on a cable between two trees

This is the day for a wee celebration

Today Sata made a delicious lunch which we ate in grand relaxation in front of the McDermott Gallery and just across the road from our nagalicious installation. Seckon, Sivann and I dined in fine style on fish soup and rice... mmmmm. Thanks Sata so much for your tireless imagination with the cooking! Best of the best, that's what we've had this past ten days...

...we feasted our eyes and hearts on this gorgeous apparition rising from the Siem Reap River. World Water Day is only two days away now, and our naga is ready with her environmental message...


That's what we're talkin about!!!

Plastic Island.. not quite Fantasy Island

I just stumbled across this article on The Independent site... plastic is a problem that is not going to go away.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Our "Jiengs"

I just have to give a nod and huge *ThankYou* to the guys who have been staying at Darryl's house with us, who have tirelessly worked with us, for longer days than twelve hours can measure.... to tie 40 strings of nylon to each bone... that is 250 bones!

Together we have shared the experience of watching the Naga take shape, the moments of near-despair at the size of the task given the timeframe, the great food cooked together at home, the exhaustion of starting work before 7 and finishing late evening every day, the joy as people arrived to help and lend a hand cup-cupping (stapling) and cutting plastic.

Together we now see our naga taking on a new form in the river, and we can see she will send a clear environmental message for World Water Day 2008 - that we cannot continue to use so much plastic and throw it without a second thought to our waterways without problems.

And nothing will make them happier than seeing their shots on the internet .. so here they are for all the world to see... and Seckon and I thank you guys for lending us your energy and goodness.


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Sata and Sivan in great hilarity as we move more of the finished Naga portions to the river adjacent to the FCC Angkor. Sort of drowning in white fluff, aren't they?!

This piece is for the front of the Naga on its chest. There seems to always be something round, decorative and flowery on a Naga's chest. This time it is the design of Sata, assisted by some of our volunteers. Looking gorgeous!

Now our piles of leftover plastic have flecks of gold. Amazing to think that 150 kg of recycled plastic was only just enough for our Naga! The past couple of days we have been trawling through our pile of ends and rubbish to find pieces big enough to cut and staple!

Sata is making these fabulous woven plastic bags... and today he made a bag tree!!

Take me to the river, wash me in the water...

She is stunning against the backdrop of the FCC. The movement gives her life somehow. under Darryl's house feels empty and lonely as we move her to the river and put her in place.

These men live near the great Tonle Sap Lake, and have many years' experience driving bamboo into the lakebed - strong enough to support even houses. The Naga is in good hands.

We hadn't figured on such a beautiful reflection..
I guess many things will come to light we didnt expect as the naga takes on a life of its own as a work of art.

watch the naga being put up on the river

Thanks to our sponsors

Many thanks firstly to our major sponsor, ANZ Royal. It was exciting to see the ATM screen yesterday! Soon all ATM receipts will also show the publicity design for the Naga. Thankyou ANZ.

Thanks also to the WWF who sponsored the cost of the Rattan, from their Sustainable Rattan Harvesting and Production Project. The form of the rattan is very beautiful... combined with the flowy lines of nylon and the plastic batting in the breeze the Naga will be stunning.

We are so happy that the MRC support the Naga project in celebration of World Water Day 2008. Please look at their website for more on their important work across the Mekong countries.