San Cristobal de las casas, Mexico

 

 

 

 

I’m currently in San Cristobal de las casas Mexico, beautiful city which draws parallels to Cusco Peru.

Yesterday there where nationwide protests in Mexico over the deaths and disappearance of over 40 Ayotzinapa students in the southern town of Iguala after they clashed with the local police. Six students where shot dead during the protest and there is speculation that the remaining students have been massacred in secret by the local police. In San Cristobal the city centre was packed with a large turn out in solidarity.

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Sherpa Porters of the Khumbu Region

Sherpa porters provide the main form of transport for all goods within the Khumbu (Everest) region as there are no roads throughout this part of the Himalayas. After witnessing their strength and endurance you will never complain about exhaustion or having to subsist on a diet of lentils and rice.

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Annapurna Circuit

16 days of trekking around the Annapurna Himal, Nepal.

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Thorong La Pass, Annapurna Circuit

Despite the weather turning bad on the descent which reduced visibility to less than 10m and transformed my body into a snow covered walking (falling) icicle, Thorong La Pass proved to be an exhausting yet rewarding experience and the highlight of the Annapurna Circuit trek.

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Thangka Painting in Kathmandu

Arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal three days ago for two months of Himalayan magic.

Today I asked a Thangka gallery in Thamel if I could visit their painting school to learn about the techniques and traditions of Thangka. They where more than happy to show and tell and organised for a student and a master painter to drive me across town to a small neighbourhood where they teach and create Thangka. We spoke about the preparation and stretching of the canvas using yak gum, the stages each painting goes through and the process of novices tracing, colour blocking and shading before handing over to the master who paints in the facial detail. My lovely student host also described the breathing and meditation techniques involved in the Thangka painting process.

Afterwards they led me to a small room in the building next door where monks chanted the story of the universe and I was blessed by one of the most important Lamas in Nepal/Tibet. I love Nepal.

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Caving Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng  has a terrible reputation as being a hedonistic tourist spot in Laos due to a legacy of drunken tourists drowning whist tubing in the Mekong. I’m not so into drowning so I decided to avoid it by spending several days pretending to be a hardcore explorer scrambling through the many limestone caves.

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Topography Painting Series

Another painting in the series I completed as part of my artist residency at Ne’na Contemporary Artspace, Chiang Mai Thailand. Acrylic on canvas, 2 x 3m

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