Wednesday, 11 February 2015

out (t)here

for some years now i have been sharing a wonderful place in my country with just a handful of visitors, mostly those who have wandered in across the oceans and might otherwise only be exposed to urban life but also a couple of close friends

it's a place that infuses me with vigour, fills my head with dreams and magic (well, yes, ok, i can actually find those things most places, but) and puts good red dust on my boots (harder to find). it provided the foundation for my exhibition 'back country'
is a source of solace and a good place to rediscover who you really are (something that sometimes gets lost in the compost of the daily grind)

last October i was there with Dorothy Caldwell and Sandra Brownlee...a most happy confluence indeed. the place is Wirrealpa Station, owned by Warren and Barbara Fargher. they've done extraordinary ecological restoration work there and are splendid hosts.

i'd always considered it a kind of private and precious place to go but when Barbara asked me whether i would consider hosting a workshop there i thought about it a bit, pondered logistics and said, "why not"? sharing is a good thing.

so i've come up with

a site-specific retreat centred on the deep experience of place through immersion in this very particular landscape
it's a big venture, we have to carry in all our food for the week and also reserve supplies in case of rain.* food will be completely wheat-free and vegetarian but with side-dishes to satisfy carnivores. (there are no stores so i'll be baking spelt bread daily)
i've also had to think about the best means of getting y'all there. the outback is not to be taken lightly if you're inexperienced so i figured the safest option was to have participants collected from Port Augusta by minibus (with a trailer for luggage)
there are only nine places available, two have already been taken
as a bonus, if skies are clear we should be able to see the Orionids meteor shower on October 21 + 22 while we're sitting outside by the evening dye cauldron
* rain is also the reason participants should take out travel insurance. while the weather is likely to be fine with mostly blue skies it is, as my atheist (and metereologist) father used to say
"God's way of keeping us on our toes"
and who knows what the Dogs Above will send.


  1. thats going to be a wonderful week....sorry i cant be there...........

    1. me too, you'd love it...and your hair would look soooo fabulous in the photos :-)

  2. correction : four places left :-)

  3. Replies
    1. aah but you'll be getting a magical new shoulder instead!

  4. i hope really the group will be good for you , it must be a dream , so i continue my dreaming

    1. it's a very good place to be dreaming about :-)

  5. Sounds heavenly India as does the time you had there with Sandra and Dorothy. One day I'll make it over to your side of the whirled and, hopefully, take a class or just meet for a cuppa. Congrats to those who are lucky enough to participate. Enjoy!

    1. well if/when you do...give me plenty of notice and who knows, we might be able to organise a bit of a wandering...

  6. Replies
    1. i think we've corresponded by email already but in case anyone else needs to know