Today there were beautiful King Parrots among lots of other birds in the garden and I did some painting in the visitors book using ochre I collected in Hill End. More painting in the studio and less adventuring (aside from my morning jog to kissing point (split rock) startling the kangaroos and goats). Even when it is cold outside the studio is warm with its little potbelly.
Darren and I explored a lot today. First the museum, then the cemetery and then onto Sofala (which is a very winding drive) and the area is beautiful due to the magic silky oak lined waterways and some rolling countryside and rocky outcrops. When we made our daily walk to the pub we noticed a sick mother kangaroo and her baby. A local man stopped to chat saying he was keeping an eye on them but they were sure to die due to dehydration. There were so many kangaroos in the village that they were crowding themselves to starvation. They are also competing with herds of wild goats.The mum and child were later euthanized by rangers.
Darren and I found a beautiful place to explore called Golden Gully with a Chinese gold mining history. When we got home the black cockatoos had arrived as the sun was setting and I discovered some picturesque objects about the cottage.
This year I have scored a residency at Hill End around 5 hours away. I am staying in Haefliger’s cottage for 4 weeks. The former residence of painters Paul Haefliger and Jean Bellette the house is full of their books and pictures, etc. indicative of mid last century (Australia’s Modern period) that they left behind. In addition this history there is the 19th century Victorian era building and all its accompaniments indicative of the gold mining heyday in Hill End which saw the town develop and swell to include 28 pubs! Now there is one pub standing, the old Royal Hotel which has WIFI (hence it be my present location). Lunchtime is the best time to be here (more people) as nighttime is cold and deserted (residents cosy by their fires!). Have begun a photo journey (been here settling in since Sunday afternoon when Darren and I set up a shroud). On Monday I set up the sun-drenched studio (while Darren roamed the hills) and completed a portion of one of the wetland paintings for Sanctuary Point. Darren got the potbelly going in there so once the sun left it was still warm and I happily painted till bedtime. Today we have had brekky on the sunny front porch before wandering off into the hills exploring mine shafts and the remnants of a town now overgrown with Aussie Bush. It is something I have always dreamed, to see the bush reclaim a town. We then got a coffee at the local corner store run by a lovely fella of English origins and after walking to the museum for a look ended up here at the pub for chips and beer!
Night Visions is a collaborative performing arts project installed at Siteworks 2016 Bundanon. The brainchild of Alicia Talbot who invited a mixture of artists to contribute their response to a car crash. A team of local young adults are involved too as performers working with some very experienced theatre gems and sound engineer extraordinaires not to mention the deep cultural knowledge of the country offered by David Little, a talented local culture man who was in the year below me at Shoalhaven High and who has been generously sharing some of his ancestral knowledge with me. He took me to a Bora Ring and sung the country alive at day break. I played clapsticks along with his didge playing and singing in language. He includes both Dharawal and Dhurga to respect the intermarriage between both language groups during the contact period and beyond. The images show team Night Visions, the Bundanon landscape and the discovery of the kangaroo shroud I installed last year during my residency that has nicely cured. His bones are also evident.