Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The sign

The sign says that Bundanon is closed even though the gate is always open. Even when Bundanon is open the sign always says it is closed.


On the rocky hill, among the Cycas, we had a strange perspective on the river – as if we were tilting over it and the calm, seaward ripples were running under us, as we should have known.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

A painting sized slit

We heard how Boyd cut a painting sized slit in his studio with a chainsaw while the photographer was having a cup of coffee so that the painting might be got out and a photograph taken from a better distance.

His studio - perhaps because it is still being used by his son - smells of turps and oil, which is to say of limitless ambition.

Figures of eight

She told us that, according to Google, the wombat's mating chase is in figures of eights.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Human-sized cage

We watched her walking along the road inside the tall human-sized cage she had been making during the last several days outside our bathroom window. Necessarily she had to walk slowly.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Furred water

She observed, later, that down at the Shoalhaven River at dusk, you might have just entered a gallery with all the lights turned off, and across the smooth water, continuing to be reflective of the rocks and leaning trees that Boyd had placed there, a defined shape of furred water runs at you in a silent, maniacal fury, and this was the bit that she wanted to paint.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


While we were looking with white gloved hands at the more deteriorated and fragile parts of the Arthur Boyd education collection - a piece from the Nebuchadnezzer series, flaking if it flexed on perspex, drawers of oil soaked canvases cut, by the artist, from frames and left in a ship's container - I heard her say that nothing had caused such a hiatus in her work as when a gallery director had pressured her to stop using children's textas and student quality oils.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Farm association

How was it, I asked, that I thought the smell came from the cows - the cows that had to be hundreds of metres away from us? Although I had known there were wombats under the house, and had even related this fact in an email, just to see one grazing in the late afternoon, its head moving back and forth as it tugged, like a cow or a horse, reminded me of the wool shop in Newtown where, once, I had held the owner's baby wombat, and how a single smear from it on my jacket had infused our house with a pasty green stink and gave my city-bought acrylic wool a farm association.

Art works

On an artists' residency, even the branches and leaves that have fallen in certain ways across a bush track, on any of the walks that radiate out from the site, should not be assumed to have fallen there 'naturally'.



A 'natural' amphitheatre, such as this one at Bundanon, should not first put me in mind of the decayed concrete remnants of the fascist era amphitheatre, with its rows of backless post and lintel benches, that used still to be inside the ancient fortress of Yedikule, along the Theodosian walls of Istanbul - rather, it should, as it does with some conscious effort, recall the scalloped bush amphitheatre of my primary school and, again by conscious association, the eucalyptus fringed amphitheatre of Miletus, which was equally hummed around by insects when we saw it in 1990.

Ordinarily, you would think it would be the sensuous associations of the insects and the trees which stirred my mind and not these simple benches, made of log sections and planks.

In my place

All the time, sitting here looking out at the quiet of the country, I could be easily convinced that the beings there (the cows, the birds, the flies) are looking in at me, or if not (because they have so many better, more important things to do), have at least looked at me, heard me or smelt me once, and in a single, short moment, dismissed me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Communicating with the outside

I wrote in the comments that the first thing you need to do at a remote artists' residency out of mobile reach is to do all you can to find ways of communicating with the outside.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A number of ways

Yesterday, I passed two different rubbish removal utes many streets apart, with two different teams of workers removing their rubbish.

As a sign this can be interpreted in a number of ways.