|Danae Brissonnet, artist on scaffolding far left|
Fanciful creatures from the ocean swarm a human figure holding a conch shell to an ear; listening to what the ocean says.
Canadian artist, Danae Brissonnet’s very colourful mural adorns one of the new white walls of the expanded Aguakan waste water treatment plant on the eastern side of Isla Mujeres.
|Day one - Danae Brissonnet|
When I first stopped to chat I mistook her slight accent for Spanish and proceeded to torture her with my very limited Spanglish.
Eventually we both realized that we had English in common, and communicating became a whole lot simpler.
|Danae Brissonnet - egg carton palette|
For a painters’ palette holding multiple dabs of vibrant colours Danae had creatively re-cycled a cardboard egg carton, designed to hold thirty chicken eggs. Enamoured by the simplicity, she is hoping to find more discarded egg cartons.
A few feet away fellow artist, Hilda Palafax from Mexico City created a woman who languidly swims in the ocean with a huge critter – a Whale Shark. Painting in the early morning light, and again late in the afternoon when the heat of the day had abated somewhat, Hilda (Poni) crafted an image that is both humorous and beautiful. An illustrator and graphic designer by trade, Hilda is close to becoming a full-time artist. It is her true passion.
|Hilda Palafax - painting woman and Whale Shark|
Another truly fanciful mural has been painted on northern side of the municipal waste transfer facility. The creatures are fun and colourful, and brighten up an otherwise dreary space.
The close proximity of the three murals will attract a lot of attention from the thousands of Cancun daytrippers who buzz around the island via an assortment of golf carts. With the turquoise water and a long white beach directly behind the artists, the soft breezes and gentle waves have to be an inspiration. An assortment of long-sleeved shirts, comical hats, and scarves protect skin unaccustomed to the blistering sun.
|Hilda Palafax, Poni - almost finished her mural|
There are four visiting artists taking part in the Pangeaseed Sea Walls project happening this month on Isla Mujeres. Unfortunately we never did connect with the other two artists - Tysa and Senkoe who painted the mural on the waste transfer building, and the new mural on the tourist information building. Some of you may remember the fourteen spectacular murals from the original Pangeaseed project in 2014.
Many are still intact, adorning numerous buildings in centro: the Mercado, several hotels, a kindergarten and our favourite mural, the huge one decorating the Palacio Municipal (City Hall). The mural on the tourist information centre on Medina suffered sun damage and is being repainted this week with a different collage of ocean-themed images.
|Tysa - mural at the municipal waste transfer facility|
The original plan included decorating the bland exterior of the Casa de Cultura in centro, but when Danae Brissonnet examined the wall, she realized the surface was much too rough for her painting. Too bad for the Casa de Cultura, but very fortunate for the Aguakan facility.
How did this all come about? Well, as we understand it, Pangeaseed is the parent organization promoting the idea in various locations around the world. The local feet-on-the-street coordinators, such as Carolina Marin, are associated with an organization called Visual Junkies. These are the folks who organize local sponsors, which walls can be painted, and accommodations.
|Caroline Marin, Visual Junkies and artist Hilda Palafax|
Islander Eric Shott, of El Milagaro Marina and his very talented staff assisted in 2014 with accommodations for the artists, assembling scaffolding and carting heavy items with their marina company truck. And again in 2016 Eric provided accommodations for the artists.
Rooster’s Café and the sister restaurant of Bertha’s has helped out with breakfasts, delicious coffee, and a wind up evening meal. The municipality of Isla Mujeres arranged the walls to be painted, and meals at Pelayos Restaurante on Medina Rueda. Made in nearby Merida, Maya Solar supplied bio degradable sunscreen and insect repellent suitable for use when the group members ventured out to swim with the Whale Sharks and rays. OSEL paints have supplied materials for the artists.
|Danae Brissonnet - the hat just made me laugh!|
These are just a few of the sponsors that we heard about, if there are more we would be happy to include them in this article. The joys of electronic publications!
Whether you are on Isla Mujeres right now, or are coming soon for your annual vacation, a tour of the island in search of the multiple murals – new and old, is well worth the time.
Lynda & Lawrie
Also see our other article about the 2014 project: