Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sunday 13th September 2009

The last day, my flight leaves after lunch.

A slow walk around the garden of eden, a quick drive around Pambula and a visit to the 2 markets to chat to the locals one last time.

Digby knows I am to leave, my suitcases are packed and ready.

I love the bush but will miss this beautiful coastline.

On takeoff I looked back at the saphire coast and shimmering lakes of Pambula and Merimbula. A memory to look forward too on my next trip.

Thank you to the towns of Pambula, Merimbula, Tathra, Bega, Canberra and of course Lorna, Susan, Poppy and Jenn for making this trip possible and Digby for being my companion at The "garden of eden".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Saturday 12th September 2009,
The above image is the "bottom pub" at Pambula, The best spare ribs Ive had for yrs.
Met Merv today, a great guy from the best antique shop I have seen for a long while. Merv is a ex Broken Hill guy and has a sister Helen Grossi in Broken Hill.
The day was hot and a haze settled in over the mountains.
I sketched again last night capturing some small link to these surroundings, but after making more notes and reviewing my pics I had one more place I had to revist, Mrs Macs Emporium.
I was once again privaledged, and be able to enter the shop after hrs. The haberdashery boxes still held garters, cottons and threads ribbons. Origonal reciept and order books, manequins and letters. The needle, still in position on a lace bodice of a blouse placed alongside another completed hand sewen lace garment, a monument to the lady this town is evidently so proud of.
My camera card was full once again.

The afternoon was spent at Lorna's studio. Talking art, life and loves, then a few short movies of the Coast to Desert Artists visit. Lorna , for a beginner is producing some great movies and looks like my visit is in production too.

Now to try out the fishing. With John's old dusty rod, weather beaten reel and brittle line I proceeded with my trusty companion Digby and a bag of schrimp to the end of the little wharf below the house. My hubby david taught me well, after feeding the hungry sea creatures for half an hr and no way to tighten the line, I hooked a good sized flathead.
Happy with catch and release after a pic of course I sat and watched my last sunset in the "garden of Eden" of Pambula Lake.

I sketched again that night in Susan's studio with only one morning left before flying home.

11th september 2009,
First up a visit to Poppy Benton and Esential Objects Gallery. Poppy is young, "matter of fact", confident and talented. Her little gallery holds some wonderful work by the local art scene but her pottery work shines above the rest. After buying a few items we left Poppy and off the Jen Mallinson's for lunch and a studio visit. Jen has commenced some works inspired by her Broken Hill visit and although modest she is more talented than she realises.

A little relax time was much needed and a sit back to absorb my visit so far. I retraced a few steps around Pambula and visited Pambula beach where the river meets the sea again in the sunlight. The colours of the rocks once again capturing my eye. A few sketches done and a cuppa.

Later in the evening a visit with Jen and Poppy to Spiral Gallery in Bega was enjoyed. The Spiral Gallery is like a co-op and artists do workshops and exhibit mthly. Again lovely friendly people who welcome you with open arms.

No time to fish today, hopefully tomorrow.

The National Gallery

It is evident that "Lulu" (alias lorna) is "at home" in Canberra.
Lulu even has dreams of one day being a tea lady.

After being privalidged to a coffee in the members lounge and a visit to McCubbins exhibition I wandered freely though the many galleries within the National Gallery.

I found some "out of the ordinary" artworks; an assemblage by Picasso, a beach semi-nude called "Hot Wind" by Charles Conder, the controversial Blue Poles (which I love in the flesh) and a wonderful sculpture garden.
The highlight though was when Lorna dragged me all excited into a large open space gallery. Here were the works by Anslem Keifer. A book standing at least 2.4m high with pages of lead, a large artwork on one wall which connected with my inner self and also reminded me of home.
Lorna and I have a kinship with Keifer which will leave a lasting impression.

The drive home was overwhelming for Lulu as I believe I talked all the way. We stopped at a small one street town for a drink and I could not resist takeing pics of the origonal rustic weatherboard buildings. There was one in particular that had not been signposted by man with commercial advertising. One the side of the building still had an origonal "flour"sign covering the whole wall. I lent over the fence line to get a good pic straining to fit it all in. Then along came Duncan, a tall, wiry man who instantly took me back to the movie Babe. He was a dinky di country man who was appreciative of me asking permission to photograph the signage. I forgot Lulu whilst we had a great chat about the Hill and my visit & alarm bells were ring in her ears. No doubt I was reminded every time we stopped after that.

After an exhausting but inspiring trip we settled into the "bottom" pub in Pambula with John(lorna's hubby), and some family for a great pub meal.

I then planned to find a some time tomorrow to throw a line into the lake, rewind a little and hopefully catch a fish.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Canberra arts & the National Gallery

9th September, 2009.

Off to Canberra with host Lorna Crane. It was a beautiful sunny day and the drive picturesque.

First stop was a morning cuppa with Artists Wendy Teakel at ANU, who recently held a workshop with the art group. We were privelidged to get a glimse of the sculpture students at work which was awesome as these young minds are really working out of the box.

The whole day following was indeed inspiring. We met with Artist Maryann Mussared & Micheal Winters at Strathnairn Homestead Gallery and Arts Association. This arts precint is situated in the outskirts of Canberra amoungst rolling green pastures. The community of "huts" are artists run spaces with a large gallery on site. A fantastic concept with a multitude of possibilities for the Artists amongst grounds with sculpture and landscape to inspire.

Then like a kid in a lolly shop I entered one of the best art shops ever. Much to Lornas dissapointment she had 2 trips to the parking meter.

The next arts spaces I visited were Ancor, a Studio gallery Co-op and Megalo Access Arts.

Megalo was particularly interesting as it was a facility that allowed artists to hire out large arts equipment. We were given a great tour and I was particularly intriqued with an exhibition useing books.

Ancor is a similar, but smaller than Strathnairn, city based studio space combination gallery. This space allowed students / artists to work in a private space of their own, also not necessarily live there with options for exhibition space.

After a meeting with the friendly staff of Belconen Arts Centre and a great sites tour of wonderful Canberra we were exhausted. Canberra was much more than I had expected.

There is a lot to learn from these thriving arts spaces and there also seem to a thriving cafe / arts culture evolving in Canberra. There are cafes such as Tillys who have arts entertainment like poets, singers and just to add to the flavour nearby there is a artists coffee lounge, decked with sofas(not tables), an exhibtion in an additional room and artists all conversing about arts, writing, painting, books.

Broken Hill eat your heart out.

Tomorrow, I could not leave Canberra without a visit to the National gallery.

But for now sleep, sleep boy I needed sleep.

Watch for more news soon.



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

7th September 2009,

Woke up to see kangaroos grazing beside my room and water birds paddleing in the shallows of the lake.

Digger the dog has become my companion on short walks to the lakes edge.
Oyster beds raise their heads out of the depths and misty rain covers the mountains.

Rain, glorious rain. The locals say the landscape here is really suffering but it is lush in comparison to the desert landscape to which I am accustomed to.

Susan is up doing chores so off to Lorna's for a cuppa (and a warm muffin just out of the oven, yummy too)and to plan our itinery.

Getting my bearings so I dont get lost was first on the agenda, then meet some locals and of course the Tourist information Centre at Merimbula.
Wonderful friendly down to earth people in Pambula.
Merimbula is showing signs of suburbia but the beaches and the cliffs dotted with glass fronted houses still holds speck of hope that common sense will prevail.
The inlet and sandbar seems to embrace the bay, the boats moored, bobbing in the breeze.
The sandbar has the most gorgeous row of weatherboard boat sheds, which show that history is maybe not forgotten here in Merimbula.
It rained all day, I did not mind a bit and even the colours of the rocks captured my urge to snap the camera.
Tucked away near Pambula is a delightful beach nestled between cliff faces. I intend to return when the sun shines.

The highlight of my day though, was when I walked into a dress shop in Pambula.
It was like I had gone back in time with Dr Who in the tardis.
Origonal boxes of cottons, ribbons, and all sorts of haberdashery sitting on sturdy solid timber shelves as if it was where they should always have been and always will be. Origonal furniture and objects of days gone by and maniquins standing alongside in designer regala as if guarding the past but appeasing the commercial appeal of the present woman.
And as if to confirm my impression just to the right of the entrance there stood this glass cabinet.
Inside the cabinet, the life story of the oldest tax payer in Australia, Mrs Mac.
Outside the cabinet you could sense her approval and Mrs Mac's Emporium did not leave my mind for the rest of the day. I shall return.

Strange things seem to happen in Pambula. On my sightseeing drive I noticed the cemetry on the side of a mountain range with large timber forests in the background, with its wonderful old carved headstones covered in moist green moss. But one unusual thought stuck in my mind. All the gravestones face up the hill! I stopped and drove in, took a walk. Not one grave actually faces the town, they all face the forest. No one has been able to say why? as yet.

The food here is great, tucked away behind the RSL in Merimbula sits this little Thai lady, evidently a Dr's wife and what a lucky Dr he is. The chicken and mushroom soup is to die for.
The curries superb and the price beats cheap as chips any day.
I am yet to find a way to take some soup home with me.

Keep posted.

Dust to Water: North West meets South East

6th september, 2009

Left Broken Hill dust bellowing below me, dreading the flight.

Arrived to breathe the moist cool air of Merimbula.
My hosts Susan and John live in the garden of eden on the border of a lake just outside Pambula, a small village that seems to held in time.
The first evening despite ominious clouds surrounding me I fell in love with the
cool vertical timbers against mountains of green foliage standing in contrast to the saphire coloured ocean.
From my bedroom full length window, the moonlight attempted to break the storm clouds and shed a few spotlights over the lake as if to boast about its beauty.
I could not sleep, the peaceful tranquility seduced me.
So I wrote down my feelings.
Peace, quiet, an eerie solitude,
Broken by a distant storm birds' cry,
An echo of belonging,
Swallowed by the tranquility of the moons glow,
Through the dark formations spread like black satin across the waters.
Through my writings I hope to capture this beauty, its people and history with my paint brush but so far it has captured me.
Keep watching for updates.