My residency in Nathalia ended its first week with a sculpture workshop which invited community members to a hands-on cardboard art-making day.
I thought I had asked too much of my participants initially, but they proved up to the task as the day went on and we had some very promising results by days end.
Internationally known artist Bill Kelly attended and kindly spent much of his day assisting with any creative problems which occurred, I am indebted to him.
Fun was had by all and it proves serious subjects can be approached in a light-hearted and friendly manner.
Getting a 2d material into a 3d shape is often not easy but my workshop participants approached the problems with an enthusiasm, wonderful to see.
Drying in the intense sun at day’s end were little creature beginnings….
and their ‘tree’ hollow homes.
With another week to go who knows what will eventuate? Our collaborative exhibition will take place in June so the heat will soon be on to get some finished work ready for showing.
My previous post mentioned Yorta Yorta lands. For international readers this country is on the Murray river, Australia’s largest waterway. Since white settlement the river has been transformed into a channel for irrigators. Currently almost no river water reaches the sea. Prior to settlement the Murray regularly flooded into an enormous braided river system at snow melt, but would sometimes cease to flow entirely in summer as can be seen here in 1915 drought.
Species which evolved over millenia to live with this cycle now has to cope with a regulated flow regime. Some species like white necked heron have adapted, but others like white breasted sea eagle are now listed as threatened.
The gorgeous Azure kingfisher alcedo azurea is another Near Threatened species (depi advisory list), I felt very fortunate to see these and you’ll hear my amazment looking through the viewfinder. (apology for sound)
It has taken whitefellas several generations to realize our largest rivers are dying. Water is at last being allocated for ‘environmental flows’. This is Hattah WITH its water allocation earlier this year.
The photo below gives an idea of size, I’m no expert but I’d guess these trees are pushing 1000yrs old, which makes our little lives seem so insignificant. We have been cutting these ancient woodlands up to make railway sleepers and for firewood. Victorian side of the river has just ceased this practise in Barmah National Park, however the northern NSW side is still being logged (forestry).
Tree with man standing, Yorta Yorta lands.