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We have set up a showing for Sunday 5 June. The performers from Body and Soul will create a piece through dialogic devising - we had rehearsal on Friday, one more next Friday and then a longer workshop on Sunday before the performance. Meanwhile we need to get the videos, soundscape and weaving installation to a presentable state.
We feel like we have been here long enough to really settle in and benefit from the residency - and there is only a week left. We really won't be able to visit Melbourne properly, which is a shame as it is, from Jo's memory of her time there 30 years ago, a wonderful city. At most we will have one day there. I point out that we did spend time in national parks but, there is always something more that we should have done.
On Sunday we went to Heyfield for their community bank's 15 year anniversary celebration in the park. The bank is locally run and channels money back into the community - over a million dollars in 15 years. There was free sausage and fried onion on white bread - apparently very typical of Australia - barbecued by the local Lions Club. Bank board members giving out free swag - I took a stubby holder to match the one I got from the Cowwarr Saints footy club. Michèle, who is president of the bank board, had her ballet and jazz groups perform on the grass. It was cold when the clouds covered the sun but it was a pleasant day.
On the drive back to Cowwarr the police had set up a breath analyzer check-point. As I hadn't had anything to drink I passed. Five young artists/gallery curators came for a visit and we had a wonderful afternoon/evening culminating in some delicious hearty meals at the Pub.
are happy to have it in a state that we can submit it and be rid of it....unless it is accepted and the editors ask for revisions.
On Wednesday we drove up to Licola and the Alpine National Park. Lovely country with low mountains and valleys. We were frustrated in our attempts to get to the gorge hike as the General Store in Licola was closed so we couldn't refuel (turns out that Licola's population is 9 so the store is only open during the tourist season) and the sign on the gravel road telling us to activate 4-wheel drive now disuaded us from driving the additional 60 km to the trailhead.
We did get a hike in, on a trail that was advertised as being not maintained or well marked. An hour and a half up we realized that we weren't going to reach the clearing we thought we could see so we turned around and back to the car, thinking we could stop for lunch in Glenmaggie. But Glenmaggie is only slightly more populous than Licola so there were no services. In Heyfield for gas and a stop at the bakery for pies: tomato and onion and veggie.
On Tuesday we drove back to Sale for shopping and to revisit the wetlands. Unfortunately we underestimated how much time shopping would take so, again, our hike was cut short.
volunteered their time and creativity to engage in a dialogic devising based upon Clive's Wish installation, writing haikus, creating and performing movement. We will need to videotape again for close-ups but there was some wonderful material. That afternoon we shared the bottle of Reserve Shiraz that had been given to us for that purpose. We really like these people.
Sunday Jo & I created and performed a work for video in the small playhouse in the garden that Carolyn's daughters once enjoyed. This morning we wrote an exquisite corpse poem based upon the free associated words I gathered from looking at the tiny house. At the same time we were making final edits to an article we are about to submit.
Several bicyclists came to the Space to enjoy Clive's open studio, lecture-demonstration about how he sculpts in marble. We were able to catch the end of it after shooting our playhouse video.
Meanwhile, Jo continues on her weaving with found objects project and I am collecting sound for my project(s).
miles of uninterrupted sand beach) and trod for 2.5 km. We decided that, while sandy beaches are nice, we much prefer the dramatic coastlines of Oregon and Northern California.
The Entrance is a natural opening that has been fortified by stone and concrete piers into a narrow entrance where the waves crash and churl before being diminished by the current flowing out of the lakes into the ocean. The path back to the pedestrian beach was through vines/shrubs that oftentimes became a tunnel.
The road was very narrow and winding. We had to slow down to avoid hitting a wombat crossing the road. The hike was, again, astounding in its beauty. Ancient Myrtle Beech with long root systems reaching down to the earth were surrounded by tree ferns. We were protected from the misty rain in by the rain forest's canopy. Back to the car, it was clear that the mist was starting to become rain.
We continued down the windy road, almost to where it would widen into pavement where two cars could comfortably pass. But a fallen tree blocked the road and we had to turn around and retrace our steps. When we reached the ridgeline the rain/mist was a vision-obscuring fog. Turning on the defroster in the car only made the windshield fog up more as the wind whipped the trees about. We were very happy to descend out of the cloud and into the valley.
We saw a herd of kangaroo grazing in a field to complete our day.
flew into a tree above. Further down the trail we were serenaded by a stunningly varied 20 second song by an unknown bird (lyre bird?) that almost brought us to tears. Driving back I felt much more confident with this left lane nonsense (though I was quite relieved when the semi that was behind me turned off at the quarry).
We stopped at the Narkoojee Winery for tasting and a lovely conversation. We purchased two bottles and Jo, the vintner's wife, gave us a bottle to share with our hosts at Cowwarr Art Space. The only downside is that tasting those wonderful wines spoiled us for the lesser wines we had purchased earlier in Sale.
windshield wipers on the left of the steering wheel rather than the turn signal on the right, it went smoothly (though I do tend to leave too much clearance on the right and not on the left).
After shopping (the favorable exchange rate reduces the sting of high prices for groceries, wine and beer) we went for a too brief walk on the lovely trail system in the Sale Common Wetland. We wanted to stay longer but heeded the warning to not drive at night when fog obscures the vision and kangaroos tend to roam on the road.
We woke this morning to the monkey-like call of the kookoobura. Now we understand why the old children's tune about the bird in the gum tree says "laugh kookoobura, laugh kookoobura".
Went to a local Aussie rules football team. It is like a mix between rugby and basketball. Not knowing the rules was hard enough but both teams had black jerseys - one with vertical red and white stripes and the other with a diagonal red stripe. There was also a netball game for women going on - basketball with no dribbling and static shooting at baskets with no backboards. Once the shooter squares up the defender can only attempt to block without moving her feet. The tiny town of Cowwarr (between 100-300 depending who you believe) fields three footie teams and five netball teams. It is a big thing here.
Last night we we enjoyed meeting three artists: Paul "Pezaloom" Berry, the director of Latrobe Art Gallery Mark Themann and Richard Tipping.
Meanwhile....some Angus cattle got out of their fields and were roaming the garden outside our window.
Some inclement weather for a few days. Sun, Wind, Rain.
Walked to the neighbors drive to buy some eggs from pasture free chickens. Unfortunately someone has been stealing eggs so the former system of leaving money in the cash box and taking the eggs has had to be be limited to only weekends when they are around to monitor.
The fancy espresso maker in the main gallery is having some issues - walked in to quite a bit of water on the floor. Clive managed to brew a cup each but our coffee intake is threatened in the near future. We have Earl Gray but tea is a poor substitute for our morning fix.
Met with the delightful Michèle Ripper who trained in London but fell in love with a local farmer so she runs a studio in neighboring Heyfield. We will teach a master class and create a collaborative work with her adult students. Carolyn has also arranged for us to meet with two local performance artists to explore potential projects.
Paul drove the U-Haul out of Manhattan, Kansas on Friday, April 29. Kansas managed to send him off with a few tornado sirens that had him hunkering in the utility room of his third floor apartment the week prior to his departure. Other than catching a cold that was promptly given to Joséphine when he returned to Tallahassee, his three day trek to Florida was uneventful.
Four days later, on May 5, we boarded a plane departing at 3:00 PM. The six-hour connecting flight in Charlotte was delayed 25 minutes, then we sat on the tarmac for another forty minutes with electrical issues. Arriving in LAX we were fortunately met by two representatives from Qantas who escorted us very briskly to the bus to the international terminal and then a very long walk to our boarding area. Without this escort there is no way we would have known how to stay inside the secured area and make it to our flight on time.
The 15 hour Qantas flight was more comfortable than the LA flight. We arrived around 7:00 AM May 7 (we crossed the International Dateline) in Melbourne. Unfortunately our checked baggage didn’t. At ten we caught the two and a half hour train to Traralgon and caught the 45 minute bus to Cowwarr ten minutes later.