Intense Art at Tuff Gong

It's been a while since I've updated my blog, I even forgot to post the last Jamaica post. Apologize for such delays, but now it's time for some massive and quick updates for you!

We were lucky again, getting contact with Tuff Gong International in Kingston. Don't think I've realised yet that we painted there, so unbelievable! We timed it fairly well, as the same day was Robert Nesta Marleys EarthStrong day! So we got to enjoy some nyabinghi drums and proper rasta chanting at the Bob Marley Museum! Even the likes of Sizzla was in the middle of it all chanting away!

The painting took about 3 days, and I think i managed to get a sun stroke while at it. When we were almost finished mister Craigy T. from T.O.K came along checking our work out. He immediately hooked us up with TvJamaica and the program Intense for an Interview (here)
Even-tough it is a girl, the lady we were in contact with wanted it to say Mama Africa, well she certainly has the hands of a working woman.

Nice Up the Walls:

Craigy T - T.O.K

Black Scorpio- Kingston

This is probably the quickest response we got to our initial emailing to link our project and finding walls. Jack (Black) Scorpios daughter, Tashima, instantly flowed with our ideas and saw similar visions with the project, and welcomed it with open arms. Unfortunately for us, but lucky for her, she was away on holiday when we arrived. However, Jack and Spyder (his son) were equally open about Nicin’ up the island. (more about Black Scorpio on my previous post: here.)

  First weekend in Kingston, Jack kindly invited us along to Rebel Salute, an amazing night-day long reggae gig. When we came back the second time, he took us to Bob Marley Tribute concert held by the Marley ‘kids’ in Trench Town. We were lucky seeing the likes of Damian Marley, Romain Virgo and Capleton. They also helped sorting out accommodation for the rest of the stay in Jamaica above Spyders rec. studio, which we had a short sneaky peek while SmokeKing was recording some dubplates with Buju Bantons sister Adena Myrie. 
Enough about this ‘boring’ stuff, now, painting! It’s the first ROOF painting I’ve done. It was quite refreshing working on a higher level, and with a bit of a distance from any interruptions or distractions I could concentrate more. The only discomfort, or difficulty was trying not to stumble and fall in all these iron poles sticking up for wall extensions.  This paint took two days, as first day we had to get hold of more buckets of house paint (…as someone was lucky to spill half a box in his rucksack, got to have a couple of minor accidents..or?!)
Last post will be from Tuff Gong Int. (Marley rec studio.)
Check out the Scorpio made by : Masai 

Help Educate Jamaica

HELP Jamaica! Centre 

'Cassava Piece, Kingston 8
is located in uptown Kingston, not far from Constant Spring. Cassava Piece is what some people call an uptown ghetto: a poor neighbourhood with zinc fences, shacks, stony and tiny roads, many children and few opportunities – located left and right hand side of the Constant Spring Gully.'

On the search for contacts out in Kingston, I had a lucky stumble upon Help Jamaica on facebook. I got a quick reply by email, saying they had a massive wall that they would want us to paint. I got overwhelmed by the size of it, and was worried that we couldn’t even fill it. Unfortunately, if we had stayed on a couple of more weeks we could have timed it for the Help Jamaica anniversary.
When we arrived at the centre at Cassava Piece, Hille was there to meet us. What he had in mind was to have an open spot in the middle for their movie projector. So we didn’t have to worry about the space, and just neatly positioned our characters on each side of this space.
Before starting we had to track around Kingston to find some additional pots of paint. Due to this we didn’t arrive as early as we wanted, but it didn’t take us too long in the end with these pieces. I was a bit worried I wouldn’t finish that day as the sun started setting, as I let myself get distracted by the kids running around, I guess I find it hard to ignore them. In the end there was a nice little crowd watching the last layers go on the walls, and it felt good finishing off and seeing their appreciation of the work.

To check out more what they are up to, you can follow their updates and photos on facebook



Check out Masais' Baboon and some more on our Help paint.

Please have a closer look, or become part of their growing international network, spread the word, donate, link up on their websites, networks and blogs :Help Jamaica! Centre'

Educate the people, and let's have some fun doing it!

Treasure Beach Boys

On the way from Gayle we stopped by Kingston again to check out what walls we can paint at Tuff Gong studio. We rushed off again now towards Treasure Beach, in the southwest coast of Jamaica. It wasn’t too bad trekking along with a couple of heavy bags on your shoulders, but when it comes to timing the journey you might have to pace yourself. Soon come, is the best way to explain their perspective on time, you just need to chill out and follow the flow.
We managed to arrive quite fast and easy to Spanish Town, but there we hit a stand still, stuck in a bus(van) in the heat. I guess since we were heading in a less used direction, it took hours before the bus was filled. Taking transport across the island the local way is quite an experience not to be missed. Stuck and squeezed tight as possible, probably to fill it up to reassure they meet their target for a days earning.
At first you almost get rundown on your way as they all want you in their bus. In Kingston, our bus and another had pretty much a race down towards the centre, they basically started fighting over people, which just ended up scaring them away. Quite hilarious seeing them battling out trying to catch the next person, but also can’t say it seemed too safe either.
 You got to know where you are going, what stops are inbetween, and roughly how much you’ll get charged.  Listening to what the locals pay do help, else you will “happily” pay double or more. An hour stuck with 4-5 people in a row, you’ll start feeling uncomfortable and loosing feelings in your legs. But you can easily forget this when you get caught up observing the beautiful landscape, the colourful and halfway built houses, a vide diversity of food stands by the road, the sellers running after the cars and some goats roaming around.
We were finally a full bus and on the move, but it was closer to five in the evening, and it would be dark soon. When we came to Mandeville, up in the higher plateaus, we found an easy and dirt cheap guesthouse up a hillside. I was blown away by the clear moonlight and stars shinning back at us, haven’t seen it as bright and present before, even in Norway. It didn’t take long before we figured the guesthouse might be a ‘drop in’ for young lovers and such. Very charming.

The next day we had an early start, it gave us perfect timing to enjoy the best of the funshine, and it resulted in a fine first sunburn. This little distant corner of Jamaica, with its steady flow of people arriving, and I guess a lot  of them stay on for longer periods there. It definitely has a more relaxed atmosphere than for example Port Antonio that's crowded with tourists.

Masai found at first this little orange dinner, but halfway got sent away by the owner of the whole shop complex. Eventhough he'd talked over the phone with the owner of the dinner saying it all be alright. After explaining this to one of the guys that provides boat trips, bike rides and such for tourist, he found us a spot pretty quick. It was on his friends little beach shop thats waiting to open. The younger people gave us a much more positive feedback to our work. Masai got the nice sunny side, where he painted a jumping/dancing lemur. It is chasing a jamaican kite, which my little beach boy with an attitude is holding.

Next up is HELP Jamaica 
(Help Establish Library Projects)

Nice Up- Workshop

GAYLE, Ochio Rios.
It is quite cloudy higher up in the mountains, with sudden rainfalls but with patches of sun breaking out in-between. The days starts early, and around 6pm it becomes dark quite quickly. Surrounded by all shades of green with all the trees and bushes, sounds of birds in the day and grasshoppers in the evening, it all reminded me how relaxing it is to be closer to nature. And these small little light bugs flickering in the dark was well interesting, I felt like a little kid when I caught one and tried to investigate the little bugger?!

Anywhoo, we stayed a couple of days up in Gayle with Masais’ adopted family. The family gave us a warm welcoming, and Moma was eager to show us her farm up in the hillside. She’s growing pretty much all the food nessescary for the household, different types of vegetables and fruits) She also lucky to have a friendly young man that helps work the land for her.


First group- Poster design
Second group- character design +fun
Third group- Logo Design + Poster Layout

Momas daughter Eve, works at the local high school, so she manage to get us some time to do some art workshops with  three  different classes. We started with a big group of  enthusiastic and eager teenagers, and gave them the task of designing a poster. It only took them a  couple of nudges in the right direction before images and words from the newspapers was flying around the room.

The second group, 9 graders, came an basically filled the room completely. Some pupils from the previous group was pleased to stay on further to finish their designs, probably also since they had a good excuse to skip another boring class. The 9graders was to large a group to try explain in details the same excersise, and it would be quite hard to keep up with each poster design in detail. So we simplified it by just making collage characters, which was very similar to what I did at Uni. It was great fun running around helping, giving little ideas of how to mix and match weird and quirky  combinations of arms, heads and legs. They actually managed very well on their own, and it was a lot of  surprising results. 

 The third and last session was a smaller group with a bit older boys, and they had also prepared their ideas for a logo for their “businesses” from another design class. So Masai went through each idea, showing how to apply it to a advertising poster , going through the basic layouts of the design. This group was certainly more focused, but as eager to learn something new.

 Next is Treasure Beach Boy
Check Masai's NUW posts while you wait