1 day ago
"Night Sky: Memories of Paradise Island", 2019, Acrylic on Canvas, 100x100 cm, Part of an abstract painting series inspired by a photograph I took while backpacking though the Philippines, quite a few years ago while exploring the amazing deserted islands around El Nido, northern Palawan.
Palawan sits between the South China & Sulu Seas. It's known as the last frontier, since much of the island is quite remote and during the time of my visit about 9 years ago, all electricity, if there was any available, was provided by generators. This gave the place an exotic, back to the roots feel–a perfect fit for a tropical island paradise. El Nido, once you escaped the more inhabited spots, was a true paradise. It was also the gateway to the many enchanted, deserted islands scattered around the Bacuit Archipelago, where jagged limestone cliffs emerge from crystal turquoise waters.
I hired a boat captain who took me on his worn, wooden boat to visit some of the small islands. Riding so close to the water on a boat older than I was, definitely added to the adventure, and I clutched my waterproof camera bag tightly as splashes and mist hit me from all sides.
The boat captain arranged to to drop me off on one of deserted islands for the afternoon. I spent the day alone there, exploring the small ring of tan beach and black rock, avoiding giant monitor lizards, while sipping on fifteen-year-old rum from the bottle. It was a strange feeling, willingly committing myself as a castaway on an empty island. At times, the thoughts of remaining stranded there played on my mind, in between the onset of sunburn, and a slight buzz from the rum. Luckily, just to be sure about my trip back, I didn’t pay the captain until he picked me up later that afternoon…
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