Talks & Events

Walking with the Penan

Talks on Art - Storey Gallery, Lancaster, UK

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Earlier this year, artist Layla Curtis spent four weeks trekking in the rainforests of Borneo* with the semi-nomadic Penan – one of the last surviving hunter-gatherer tribes in South-East Asia and acknowledged masters of tracking and hunting.  The aim was to obtain point of view (POV) video footage of a Penan hunter’s solo journey through dense jungle near Ba Jawi, one of Borneo’s last remaining pristine rainforest wildernesses. 

The artist will talk about her work in progress which attempts to capture a view of the forest from the perspective of the Penan who move incredibly fluidly, gracefully, swiftly and almost silently whilst navigating the tangled

jungle environment and tracking their prey. She will also discuss the Penan's unique visual tracking language, which uses a complex system of folded leaves and bent twigs to convery details of their journeys to other people in the forest.

The artist will also discuss two other works: her collection of films Traceurs: to trace, to draw, to go fast in which she uses a thermal imaging camera to make visible the heat traces left by parkour practitioners as they make their unique journeys across the city, and Polar Wandering, her interactive web based drawing charting her own personal journey to Antarctica.

* Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England