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Home BLOGS Guest Blog Back in Papua New Guinea

Back in Papua New Guinea
Written by Tiffany Bozic   
Monday, 21 December 2009 07:41
Artist Tiffany Bozic and her husband, who's the curator of Birds and Mammals at the Cal Academy, take a trip to study some of the rarest birds on Earth. When FF founder John Trippe asked me over the summer to write a little 'show and tell' blog about my recent trip to Papua New Guinea I said I would when I got back. I returned late November, swiftly underwent typical culture shock, than edited some photos for the blog. I suppose I'll give you give you a brief background first.

First off, my name is Tiffany Bozic. I paint all things feathery and slithery, mostly on maple panels with acrylic washes. Below is an example of a painting called 'The Raft' I made this past summer - you can see more of my work here: www.tiffanybozic.net.

My husband Jack is the curator of Birds and Mammals at the California Academy of Sciences. He has been traveling around PNG for many years studying mostly Birds, namely a poisonous bird called a Pitohui. But he's always dreamed of surveying these very remote islands off the eastern tip of PNG called Milne Bay. Our mission was to set up mist nets on as many islands as we could and collect samples from local bird populations to screen for viruses. I'm just giving a tiny taste of our sailing adventure. If you are interested in any details you can get the full account here: calacademy.org/blogs/jdumbacher/

I hope you enjoy!

The Raft by Tiffany Bozic

PNG is located right above Australia. On this trip we visited Milne Bay Islands off the South Eastern tip.

Boats:

Our Sailboat Dalai - Bruno and Charmin along with their son Aladin built this boat from scratch.

The locals still use these traditional dug out canoes to get around from island to island.

Traditional local sailing rig - these boats could move really fast!

It seemed to us that every kid had their own boat and they would sail up to us and trade items like fresh fruits and veggies for rice and sugar.

A lot of the boats had beautiful carvings like this.

Landscape:

A beautiful and safe place to anchor, don't you think?

Many of the islands were too small to support human populations like this island here in the distance. But a great place to look for birds! A yam garden is in the foreground.

The water was about 80-100'visability - great snorkeling! Sadly, my camera couldn't capture the bioluminescence at night!

There was trash washed up on the shores of every single island we visited. The one item we saw most frequently? You guessed it: flip flops. Sigh.

palm cliffs

orange shrooms

Here is an example of typical house in a village. Sago palm roof and Pandana walls, and black palm floor boards.

Here they laid out coconuts to dry in the sun. The land and ocean provides them with fresh fish, fruit, bush material for their houses, just about everything you need to get by in this world… except I-phones and Television ofcourse.

People:

A portrait of a beautiful happy family

No doubt in my mind that this boy is going to be a sweet little heartbreaker...

Almost every island we arrived children would start crying "Dim Dim!!!" which translates to 'white people'. A lot of them had never seen a white person. It is quite possible then that this young boy had never had his photo taken by anyone, let alone a Dim Dim. Hence the expression on his face...

This poor little girl was running a bad fever. Malaria is very present in this region. Without a test it's hard to know but reasonable to assume.

Ahh... Sumatra is so cute! She lives in a Matrilineal Society so she will grow up and inherit generous parcels of land and hopefully live a long happy life.

Without the benefit of the ability to give notice, we had to show up to every island unannounced. But rather quickly we were ushered to whoever was in charge and explained what it was that we wanted to do there. Here is Jack with a map receiving advice from the local chiefs about which islands yield the most promising birds.

Critters:

Spectacled Monarch - Some of the beautiful birds we caught in our nets seemed to give us a glimpse into a very strange and unfamiliar world.

This is a male Shining Flycatcher with a bright orange mouth (used to impress the ladies).

Meeting a Frogmouth bird was in my 'top 10 gotta'do's' before I die. I felt extremely elated followed by the quick realization that I am now 10% closer to death.

Holding a sea turtle was also in my top 10. So now I am 20% closer to death. And they were worth it!

Here I am holding a live Cus Cus (Possum). They really do play dead!

Nephila Spider - As big as your hand!

These little red ants sew leaves together to make a nest. They also bite. It was difficult to avoid brushing up against one of these nests in the forest. Within seconds we were covered in what seemed like thousands of them and screaming every profanity you can imagine. On that note: I find it interesting how long they can live without their head.

An egg fell out of its nest and broke open when it hit the ground. I put it in a betel nut and took a photo of it while it's heart was still beating. My heart goes out to all the baby birds that don't even make it up to bat.

Painted Lobsters... A fitting name!

Jungle mask

Skulls

shells The feast

peeling yams... An important woman in the village died so they invited us to their ritual feast to celebrate her life. Here woman are peeling yams they grew in their gardens to cook in their clay pots.

pig slaughter... I doubt any of the children in this village are confused about where their meat comes from.

fruit dove

BBQ fruit bat... On tonight's menu they have delicately roasted fruit bat hors d'oeuvres and locally harvested Bush tobacco.

The locals ate fruit bats because they have traditionally lived off the land for thousands of years.

Field sketches:

Hornbill... Painting out in the field certainly has it's challenges, but this little Hornbill kept stealing my pens making it quite impossible to get any work done.

Hornbill eye... I couldn't stay mad for long though - she had the longest eyelashes!

I leave you with a few little watercolor (3-4") sketches...

a drawing of a girl... For those of you reading this that have followed my work and say "why no more people?" well, Here you go! (Sorry I'm out of practice)

water color branch... And this is for everybody else. If a Wattled Ploughbill mated with a Golden face it might look like this.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. If you are still interested in checking out more photos from our travels you can find more here: calacademy.org/blogs/jdumbacher/

Words and photos: Tiffany Bozic {moscomment}

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contact FF

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//////////
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ABOUT HEADLANDS
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//////////
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Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

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NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

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Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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