The Ocean Mapping Expedition left the Philippines for good in February 2018 and while Fleur de Passion is sailing down South-West from Brunei towards Singapore along the North coast of Borneo, it’s high time to share at last some of the drawings made by the latest to date of the eleven illustrators who took part so far in the cultural program of the expedition, « In the mirror of Magellan ». Namely: Maurane Mazars, a representative of the young avant-garde cartoonists « made in Geneva » (although she’s French), laureate in 2015 of the « Prix pour la Jeune Bande Dessinée du Canton de Genève » among other prizes.
Maurane embarked in Mactan the very last day of December 2017 and spent two weeks on board while Fleur de Passion went sailing around in the Visayas, the central region of the Philippines. South towards Dumaguette then East towards Leyte and above all Limasawa, a tiny islet where Magellan landed for the first time in the Philippines in March 1521 after his crossing of the Pacific Ocean - and where he « incidentally » celebrated his first mass in the country…
Visit Maurane’s website: http://www.mauranemazars.com
From Tahiti to Fiji, in September-October 2016, the Valaisan designer Ambroise Héritier boarded Fleur de Passion for nearly two months. Besides the illustrations he began distilling, and on which he is still working, back in his studio on the heights of Sion, he delivered the following text written on board. A sort of report according to the navigation of the south Pacific that led to the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.
Eight days of sailing.
Eight days without seeing any other living beings around us.
Apart from "Jean-Edouard," a crazy blue nose who squatted behind the boat one night, and some flying fish that came to die on the bridge, there is no one on the horizon.
The journey begins to undo us, bit by bit.
It forces us to go where we are not used to going.
In the midst of this great blue nowhere, "Fleur de Passion" is just a tiny speck of nothing on the map.
The show that unfolds before our eyes is often breath-taking.
Day after day, night after night, we let our solitary souls wander following the wind’s fancy.
Some pots and pans we thought we had left on land, are still trailing behind the boat.
The trip jostles, sculpts, erodes our beings to the rhythm of the navigation.
There is no possible escape.
Some have paid to be here, others are paid to be here, and others are here against their will.
If the horizon is the same for everyone, the questions we ask it are personal.
Each of us launched our bottle to sea.
Mirroring days flow into each other, there the individual experiences are, to varying degrees, echoes of our individual paths.
Like a sponge, I am trying to absorb snippets of stories sketched along the navigation.
A few snatched sketches,
lines on a notebook,
and hundreds of photos on the clock.
I will relive these stolen moments, on the blank pages of my drawing table, when I return to my studio.
It's been eight days living in the rhythm of quarters.
Monotony lulls the minds,
the bodies are exhausted,
melancholy takes over hearts,
Beings seek each other,
It is September 18, the sun is high, the ocean ... cobalt blue.
On deck, adrift, a flying fish dies.
A seventh designer boarded Fleur de Passion in Papeete early September 2016 as part of the cultural program of the Expedition: In Magellan’s mirror. Ambroise Héritier, from Granois near Sion, swapped the mountains of the Valais for other peaks, those of the South Pacific atolls between Tahiti and Fiji. And in a striking play of lights and shadows, he offers us a first dazzling vision of the island of Moorea, captured only a few hours after departure. Somewhere between sunrise and sunset, we cannot tell.
The ridges cut into a sky in a palette of greys that echoes the blackness of the water of, perhaps, an early morning. It is for us to decide. One can already feel the intensity of the sun, somewhere behind the island.
From Tahiti, Ambrose will stay on board until Fiji via the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga. So he can carry us for long while yet in this journey of salty sea revisited.