Sunday, 25 October 2015

out (t)here

last Saturday the Dog and i filled the ute with supplies, lashed down the tarpaulin (on the first rainy night here in months!) and set a course for the North

arriving just before sunset

Wirrealpa Station is a wonderful place. it's bigger than some European countries i can think of
the light is astonishing

birds witter and warble and squark and chatter all day long
kangaroos thump past, emus make deposits on the doorstep in the dead of night
lizards visit at lunchtime 
now that my friend Janet* (who came along to help me by peeling, chopping and slicing as well as setting tables and doing endless piles of dishes) has introduced them to strawberries i fear they'll find the ruby saltbush berries a little sour

my days began with wood chopping and firelighting to ensure there was hot water for showers in the bathhouse

the 50,000 year old petroglyphs of Chambers Gorge inspired works on paper and cloth
coloured with roadside ochre harvests and windfallen leaves

we wrote, drew, dyed
gathered leaves and interesting objects
twined string, folded paper
composed collective poems
and made many bundles

Lily, Snip and Kubbi dispensed dog-love to anyone in need (and kindly didn't howl when i played my saxophone)

the beauty of a live-in retreat like this is that work can continue as long as participants have energy. we fired cauldrons most evenings
and sometimes even in the early morning
it's a place for walking, dreaming, thinking, observing and absorbing

too soon we were making our farewells
i boiled up a last dyepot, packed up the kitchen, washed all the sheets and then sat down to a hot footbath and a cold gin
immersed in the Great Silence on my last night there

today Kubbi and i made our way home, via Eurelia and the World's End Highway,
a little sad that our retreat out (t)here to Wirrealpa was already over.
i will be back. even if it IS a long way to the shops for a sausage roll.

* i have to say i could not have managed without you, Janet...and i am deeply grateful to my medical team (Janet and Isobel)  for being present, patching grazes and building the odd cardboard splint!


  1. oh. this would be a dream come true. thanks for the peep in.

  2. Sounds like a brilliant week, lovely photos, brings back memories of another place near by.

  3. the long (unwinding) road --- leads to the door of wonder --- thanks for letting us take a peek inside xxxxx

  4. Ok you call that work...and it certainly is seems so great to me..........

    1. so much more fun than turning up for 9-5 at the office

  5. i have been there in your pictures , thank you

  6. Such contrast to the lush, mosses and vibrant colors of autumn here. Magical.

  7. i keep coming back over to see your beautiful photos...

  8. beautiful photo of the long road and blue sky .

    1. We specialise in big blue skies out here ...and long roads :-)

  9. Gosh, so lovely. thank you for sharing.

  10. What an absolutely marvelous adventure & place of creative respite for all. That light IS astonishing out (t)here. Grinning to see that Kubbi had her own good times as well with fellow four-leggeds ;>)

    Curious, if you may know ... the beautiful paper work (8th photo down) ... what in world printed those pin-like black marks, oh, or maybe those are stitched?? Yes, yes, something definitely to be said for living-in style retreats where one can work on for as long as energy allows .....

    A good read. Many thanks!

    1. those marks are stitched....we had been closely studying the delicate flowers of a particularly beautiful eucalypt!

  11. Oh, what a beautiful land we live in! The colours of the land are stunning and the work has taken on the story of the place.

    1. it is indeed glorious out there...and has a way of getting right into your bones