Back in my stomping grounds
I have landed back in my old stomping ground and I feel centred. The feeling of how much I love my home and this land has been cemented by my journey away. After a pause and a big breath in, followed by being blinded by the light and basking in it too, the landscape around me has taken hold. Here, I am again taken by looking at the 100 year re-growth of the woodlands. In Napoleon Reef, quartz reef gold mining took place after the Frenchman Pierre Pourot discovered gold in the early 1860’s. https://nrwgra.com/history/sydney-road-passing-walang-public-school/
The eucalypts that are growing out of the gold mining depressions now, clearly show great resilience to this disturbance, but who knows of the specifics of the patchwork of biodiversity that once called this place home before the gold rush. The image of my painting here is one of my most recent works, from a spot just a walk from my studio. There is an ease and comfort to be back painting what is around me here.
There are many great things that I carry with me from my time in France and I hope the little morsels that I left behind keep giving to those who have them. Although some bits just feel like a time warp, there’s newness here as there’s newness from where I have just been. One thing is for sure - change is constant. For the family we stayed with in the south of France have moved already (happy house warming to you!) and the residency I participated in, I hear has ceased to be. Running for almost 20 years it was both a gem for the locals of Marnay-sur-Seine and from my experience and those who shared this time with me, terrific for the artists. From what I have heard, December 2017 saw the last artists welcomed before the sale of the 16th Century monastery and property. I know this will affect the locals, the staff and so many of the artists who have created in this space. I feel for all those who were heading there in 2018. I have no doubt my European friend Daniella Melzig would have shared there again. She was one of the artists in residence during the time I was there. She was working on a program with children from the region enriching this place and its people. She also shared with us some of her works on film and glass, where she prints with ease and with nostalgia and poignancy – no mean feat. Do see some of her doings here …