.on the way to my sister's farm there are lots of things I love to look at
I don't think that I really understood where I came from until I travelled overseas and returned. My family is from down south in Victoria, by the sea. This new landscape where my sister lives is similar but also very different to where we grew up. It is also very dry and I suppose at times unforgiving. I try to go and visit as much as I can. I have an obsession with gum trees, and the drive which starts in the city ends on a dirt road lined with gums.
I am making copper boxes at the moment. On this recent drive I had to stop and take a photo of 2 sheds that I always look out for on the trip up. They remind me of something that I hope to capture in my work, and of where I come from.
We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.
(for Peter Skryznecki)
I had an aunt and an uncle
brought up on the Eastern Fall.
They spoke the tongue of the falls-country,
sidelong, reluctant as leaves.
Trees were their thoughts:
peppermint-gum, black sally,
white tea-tree hung over creeks,
rustle of bracken.
They spoke evasively,
listened to evident silence,
ran out on people...
[the last stanza goes:
latecomer to this country,
sharer in what I know
eater of wild manna.
that spoke in the language of leaves.
( I brought my copy of Phantom Dwelling by Judith Wright in London in 1993.When I first went overseas, what I missed most was the Australian sky and the trees)