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.
I worked in the studio all day on the woodducks work and it still was unfinished! It was a clear day but still cool and I took some near and far images from outside the studio.
A grey cold day that matched my mood. No run but the kangaroos had moved in and I opened the house to let the cold in. Vacuumed and sorted the book shelf. I spent hours. The German books have their place now and the English too. Found some gems of course. The sunset was a FIERY FURNACE…
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….
I had settled into the lounge room by the fire painting the mural when I suddenly realised ants were bursting out of the mantle above the fireplace! I let them do their thing knowing they would go home later. They were slow moving and looked nice….Another creature keeping me company…and may feature in my work yet….
After such a warm day yesterday the sun refused to come out today. It was freezing but after my morning jog I went back out along the jogging path to take some shots. Part way along the camera ran out of batteries! I stoked the potbelly up in the studio and painted all day as the ran eventually came down. My trip to the pub delayed till tomorrow. I am working on the woodducks shroud and its bringing back all those memories of dad taking a baby woodduck from its mum and dad when I was a girl just because I wanted one! And I raised it like a mum and it followed me around like its mum. The work is becoming very cathartic as I miss dad (he would love being here with me in Hill End drawing all these lovely leafless trees!) and miss being a mum (my own fault of course). I think about how I am getting old, but also how this means the loss of dearly beloved family and friends (something I didn’t really have to deal with in my youth aside from my Hungarian grandfather). Creating works for me always seems to be about sadness but at least my mural (which I worked on in the evening by the loungeroom fire) is bright and happy (although I can hear dad’s voice giving me feedback!) His spirit is with me I am sure of that. I have been crying alot…
Today was Sunday, my first day alone and although the sun was warm and I ended up painting the mural all day in the sunshine, it didn’t begin so well! I went for my morning jog to split rock and when I returned the key would not open the door! The lock was jammed! I could feel my anger build but saw the screens could be taken off the windows if only I had a Phillips head screwdriver (how ironic for the first day in Hill End without Darren Phillips!). First I went to the toilet (luckily it was outside!) and discovered it was that time of month as well!!!!) After using alot of toilet paper I headed off to the pub and cafe (both shut of course!) then off to Murrays cottage hoping for another artist! Deserted of course! Then in desperation I headed to the police! In the lovely old court house building luckily a live in job (I could hear kids playing and saw a gaggle of geese in the yard!) Feeling like I was in an episode of Midsomer Murders I rang the bell and was greeted by a friendly policeman in his dressing gown! I felt so embarrassed asking for the screwdriver… He gave me a flat head too and said he was having a lazy Sunday! Once I had gotten in and had my coffee and brekky I felt better, got changed out of my daggy old holey clothes I jog in (got rid of the toilet paper!), washed my face and returned the screwdriver…
I have no oven where I live in Vincentia (a shed) and so a roast beckoned! The rustic domesticity has been nice in a way (having a kitchen is a novelty!)