Today Darren and I went to Pirate’s house and he took us to a property in South Nowra where we set up the shroud installation in a former pig house. The mother and baby possum were hit by a car on the road where I live and the swallow was waiting for me to find him at the door of the shop on the first day back at work after dad passed away. It was sprinkling at the site but the sun came out for just enough time to set up. The rain returned as we drove away.
Today Jade and I carried out dad’s plan for his taxidermy exhibition.
It has been a big effort beginning with finding a tree to match dad’s drawing. On the morning after dad passed away, Darren picked me up at dawn in the garbage truck taking me to Hyams Beach to see the sunrise over the ocean, and there was a dead ghost gum with perfect branches for dad’s tree! He then picked up in Wreck Bay where we said goodmorning to a couple of friends before picking up in Jervis Bay Village and Erowal Bay where we saw an old family friend who gave his condolences about dad. I felt a wonderful sense of community support.
After the week of mourning where days and nights were full of our close-knit family coming together to organise the most beautiful and perfect goodbye to our wonderful dad and nagypapa, Jade, Adam and I went and obtained the tree. It was in a very difficult to reach place but the men found success. Back in dad’s courtyard Jade built a stand for the tree and we selected the birds to place on the branches. Then came today where we woke early to pack all the taxidermy into boxes to place in the van and ute. I traveled to Booderee to collect the seaeagle and echidna while returning the fairy penguin dad had fixed for the info centre just before he passed away. The staff were touched by this and a friend came there and gave me a cuddle. The sea eagle only just fit in the ute due to the wingspan! Once home and packed Jade and I drove in convoy the hour to Bundanon and installed Barbay’s Nature Display at Riversdale. the supportive Bundanon staff were very happy with our work.
Siteworks is on this Saturday the 26th.
Dad and I have an exhibition at Gallery Envelope, a pop-up gallery in Nowra.
Once I installed the show I showed dad photos and he was very happy and excited.
My father has also been invited to exhibit his taxidermy at Bundanon for siteworks this year as the theme is the feral amongst us. Although he does not have many feral animals, he will be showing mainly native animals.
The Following works reference original works by Boyd in title and/or composition.
The personal significance is in relation to my son Zephyr Nebachudanezzar born on the Shoalhaven river when Adam and I lived in a farmhouse across the river from Bundanon.
I just have to talk about the wombats.
Wombats are really cute and noisy (so they keep me company). They peak through the window at me while I work and leave their poo on the verandah, I gotta be careful in the dark…
Alicia, who was Visiting Bundanon for a couple of days, found another gift beside the apartment. The colourful rainbow lorikeet. I placed her on thick paper between two heavy boards. Thanks Alicia.
Yesterday, Bundanon staff moved the dead daddy kangaroo away from the homestead to the stingray shroud site. Today I estimated and cut a length of canvas from my roll and walked out in the heat of the midday sun to the site. Ravens and a wedge tail eagle greeted me. The kangaroo is big but young and fibrous and so I was able to drag him by his thick black tail onto the canvas I had laid out beside him. It was, miraculously, a perfect fit. His death pose is strong and dynamic. The stingray is drying out nicely and should create a neat silhouette.
I jogged along the Cedar trail this morning and discovered dead lantana bunches hanging like crazy nests from trees and rocks. I checked on the stingray and it survived the night, but two ravens were hanging around calling to each other. I filled up the copper cauldron with water from the lagoon and found a dead daddy kangaroo. Maybe he had a fight with another daddy so I told Jennifer the collections manager and she said it needed to be moved. I suggested he could become another Bundanon shroud. Jennifer’s husband had found a ‘skate’ at a similar time to me on a Vincentia beach and photographed it. They had also found it serendipitous considering the Boyd show featuring the Skate was on at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum at this time. I think both should feature in my stingray works. I put one coat of rabbit skin glue on 6 canvases including the Woollamia ringtail possum and rosella.
Darren and I collected the shroud equipment from Woollamia and took it to Bundanon in our new Falcon ute. Installing on the warm clear Sunday was so peaceful. I placed the stingray (found deceased on the beach where I jog each morning) on a canvas beside another canvas that will be left exposed to the elements without a decomposing body. I collected the nearby wattle leaves and put them in the copper cauldron. Looking to see if I could get to the river to collect water to soak them I found a piece of barbed wire, which was serendipitous as we needed more wire for the installation. I took the copper to the lagoon and put water in it there to make a wattle leaf dye for the stingray canvases. In the late afternoon as night fell I resolved another work on paper adding delek to a paper shroud containing fish.
It was crisp and cold early as I jogged down around the paddocks to the river. A cow sitting near the fence watched me open the gate while further down I encountered the big daddy grey kangaroo again. As we stared at each other and I walked slowly around him in a wide circle he then slowly made his way toward his mob. As I approached the herd of black cattle I wondered at the aesthetically pleasing contrast between their hide and the green grass as I love silhouettes. I thought of a painting with the black cattle looking at me with a large white galah in the foreground. I startled the ducks on the lagoon and the mob of grey kangaroos again. The wombats seem to be in hiding now, their burrows are everywhere.