I have been staying in the musicians cottage at Bundanon with team Night Vision preparing for Alicia’s siteworks event during the last week and Suz showed me this wonderful wombat near the cottage.
I created another painting over a $2 shop photo canvas. It is a portrait of the 19th century Haefliger residence. I have never created a portrait of a house before. Hill End has made an impact.
Today I could see (and I had heard) another rain event was headed our way so I decided to deinstall the Hill End Shroud. The prints worked very well especially the ringtail. I strung up a line in the woodshed so it could hopefully dry out a bit before it is packed on Saturday for the early morning Sunday trip home. Yesterday I had been invited to brekky at Dan and Vik’s house (short for viking and he was building a model boat when I arrived!). Like all places in Hill End on lease it is a restored 19th century ruin and absolutely beautiful miniature spaces in multiple buildings with earthen walls and wooden panel ceilings that set off the colourful personal collections of art and antiques brilliantly. Today I had (great) coffee at Genevieve and Bill’s place (home of Hill End Press) which was equally breathtaking and had the additional embellishments born from their eclectic art practices and those collected from artist friends. It was a wonderful first visit (and back for dinner on Saturday!) hopefully the first of many. I then delivered my work to Dave, he was very happy and gave me a free coffee.
After 3 weeks of adjustment and cathartic emotions I have finally found peace in my solitude and the spring has brought wonderful warm days to Hill End. People are returning, more wonderful members of the community have introduced themselves and I have been painting like mad. I even made a painting for cafe Dave. I painted it over a 2 dollar shop photo print that makes it look like the kangaroo and bush in the Haefliger’s yard is in a vortex.
A feature of this next lot of photos from History Hill is the glow green uranium glass. I could feel a headache coming on when I was in its presence i was sure of it….Some of the tiny little dolls were found in puddings instead of the usual penny. I imagine chitlins losing teeth in excitement! Another notable rustic piece was the dog muzzle.
Today is a Saturday and after my jog I drove into Bathurst. First stop is always Hub for brekky/brunch and I was reading the letters between Sunday Reed and Joy Hester in my solitude (a book from Haefliger’s library) feeling very bohemian. I shopped at the art store, farmer’s market and then poxland before heading back to HE. Darren and Shaye were visiting me this weekend so we went to History Hill. What a bizarre and overwhelming place. The deconstructed town has been assembled within its dark underground interior. The rusted spooky collection of 19th century artefacts are punctuated by witty labels and additional effigies created by the assembler(s) that lend a 20th century local humour to what are extreme contrasts between male/female, Western/Eastern and the lone corner of a cabinet dedicated to the Wiradjuri that feature the most hideous neck shackles I have ever seen, their origins – the African American slave. I took over 100 photos and so there will be two image installments. A couple of notable items were the carved pipes and large locks. An installation of scales is a formidable sign of the gold rush town.
Most mornings I jog to kissing point and stand overlooking Split Rock. I usually scatter the goats, woodducks and kangaroos but they are getting used to me. The fog that greets me in the valley has been spectacular. Very inspiring to my minimalist sensibilities. There was even a frozen dead offering one morning.
Today I went for my jog under a grey sky then home for soup from the cool coffee man and then off to a wonderful yoga session and coffee with some lovely local ladies who told me more about the village. Its a really interesting community with lots of artists. At home I worked in the studio on the woodducks cosy by the potbelly as the rain came down and not wanting to leave but knowing the pub beckoned…. so I donned my computer and raincoat over (my dryzabone is still airing after 14 years in a caravan full of shrouds!) and my son Zeph’s ex blundstones (a little big) to trudge through the puddles and I met more locals! a lady called Jo who has been in Hill End since 98 and is working in inks atm and Helen originally from the Hunter valley and Maxine the barlady… all awesome ladies. I feel surrounded by strong women! (although there are plenty of interesting looking men too of course!)
And finally some images of works in progress….