The first night of my wombat followings, my fellow Artist in Residence, Wart came through with the goods, she was on the lookout as I was too for the rising of the wombats out of the burrows all around.
I’ve started some quick gestural drawings in charcoal on series of watercolour squares of these characters. My first muse, spied from my window, was drawn in the cosy comfort of the studio. And then moving too far away, I braved the roaring winds and sat a distance away in the open paddock with my charcoal and paper. I’m sure, I’m not the first of my kind that this being has had to put up with - what are all these people’s intentions?
Every evening since, I have headed out with the wombats and followed one or another, or a mum and bub, or simply sat on the veranda as I sketch their nibbling and scratching. Sometimes they are still enough that they almost become a ‘still life’. Especially when they sense something - they embody statue mode, nose raised and body poised. But mostly they’re constantly moving a little as they munch and scratch. I hear they have a treatment program here for the mange … they share with foxes, whose wafts haze the walk here to Haunted Point.
I’ve also spent time just hanging out with the wombats during the day, sometimes in the paddocks as they munch away with a superb view to pulpit rock, the landmark repeated through so many of Arthur Boyd’s paintings. But even if you were not communing with the wombats here, you would not be able to miss their presence, or absence even, for they leave their mark - their squared poos … strategically placed on the fallen branches over the path, on the low plinth of the bronze sculpture, Genesis by Lenore Boyd in the homestead garden, on the time ravaged wombat skull in the paddock and on the welcome doormat to the writer’s studio. Where there’s an audience, there’s a way.
Inside that writer’s studio, is Maggie Haertsch. She cooked a most delicious roast and shared some of her everyday at the moment. Aptly, with her work, she’s writing on her phone in her bed and her morsel shared has left me on the edge of my seat. A Bundanon regular, her last time here, she produced work with Centenarian Eileen Kramer, the writer, dancer, painter, costume designer and choreographer. Through Maggies eyes, here is day 5 of Eileen at Bundanon …