Bundanon: Kangaroo Shroud

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.

Bundanon: Day 7

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.

Bundanon: Stingray shroud

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.

Bundanon: Day 3

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.


Bundanon: Day 2

Another jog up to the amphitheatre and then the ridge startling a rock wallaby. The sun was bursting through the trunks of trees. On the way down I found some ochre dug up by machinery and encountered a big daddy grey kangaroo who stared me down. I waited for him to pass before running back to my studio. I prepared all my images for use in my paintings and began working with delek to finish a work on paper, realising it was now the birth of my son Zephyr Nebachudanezzar on the Shoalhaven River in 1994 when I lived with Adam in a farmhouse across the river from Bundanon. We had hung out the sheet I gave birth to Zephyr on to dry but during the night it was taken away by a mystery creature.

Bundanon: Day 1

The morning of my first day I jogged down the paddock scattering the feeding wombats as black cattle and grey kangaroos stared at the newcomer to their country. But it is familiar country, on the river where I gave birth to my son 20 years ago. Near the town I went to high school. I had been to Bundanon before as a school student, then adult visitor, but today I was living here. The first day of 5 weeks. The apartment and studio are perfect, and I have settled in among other creative peers, feeling at home and grounded, in spite of the extreme winds. I focus on the tree lined horizon and begin to gather images. I drive the long treacherous way into town and buy food and a portable electric stove for melting rabbit skin glue. I return to find a black out and flat batteries in my scales. I need to measure 5g of alum and 50g of glue, the sizing will have to wait.