Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Escape Artiste - Outback Jack Adventure

"I am an artiste, I cannot work under these conditions!"

Once in a while I say that, with hands in mock desperation in the air and with a thick faux french accent. The conditions may be a slight impingement on my time, or a full on soul sucking couple of months of crazy business. But it is usually a sign to get out of town for a while and find some peace and quiet. Escape on an Escapade.

So I went walkabout, or going bush as we say it here. Once in a while you need to leave the madhouse we call the daily grind, and go where there is no white noise. During the month of April, I  found myself heading off to spend some quality time with friends and loved ones in the outback. 4 weeks to be precise. An outback Jack adventure to Uluru, Kings Canyon, gorges in the West McDonnel ranges, to Alice Springs, then East McDonnel ranges and back to Adelaide via the Oodnadatta trail (the old Ghan railway) and Roxby Downs.

Outback trips, even if you have family and friends there, have to be carefully planned to make sure you do not become a headline - stranded without water casualty type headlines.  So we rigged up the old 4WD with solar power, a deep cycle battery, fridge and water bladder and I spent a day before departure pre-cooking food and cryovaccing vegetables, meat and fruit. I do not eat a lot of processed food, in the past 5 months I have gradually transitioned to a "clean" diet. And since I did not wish to survive on toad in the hole and sausages alone, I had to do some fancy meal planning. But water, road and car conditions and flies are the main considerations. And I swallowed plenty of the latter, believe me.

I am turning into a regular escape artist, travelling experiences (both the road and the destination) tend to work themselves into my creative work. It is either very organic and influenced by what I see or it is very measured and engineered and also inspired by what I see. The outback took my breath away, the colours, the textures and the shapes of the rocks are amazing. Reds, oranges, ochres, yellows, salmons, browns are everywhere, interspersed with all types of green - grey green, fern and leaf green, yellow green, spruce green, eucalyptus green.

On the road, I scavenged. Literally sometimes, get out of the car and find things. Pieces of iron, old rusted scaling pieces that may or may not be from the early settlement. Stones and pieces of rock. At Ruby Gorge, in the East McDonnel ranges, the sand and rocks are actually purple due to the prolific garnet deposits. Brilliant inspirations.

Here, I will share a few images. See that blue skye? And the red sand? And the contrast? The sand and rocks are so filled with iron that they are actually rusting. 

Wide Open Spaces, the red red roads of the Outback

Textures that are millions of years old, ancient mud deposits from an inland sea

Kings Canyon, just brilliant
Uluru at sunset, I had to capture 50 images to get some definition
Typical old railway siding from the Ghan, this is Curdimurka
Ochre pits, indigenous people have dug for yellow, red, black and white ochre here for centuries

Pieces of iron and rock found on the side of the road, who knows how old they are but they are perfect
Finally Finished! Almost the right colour scheme in this neckpiece,the warm yellow ochre of the sonoran agate centre piece suits it well

I am sure there will be many more reds and ochres appearing in my work in the next few months. I want to try to get back to Roxby Downs in August for the Red Earth Festival and perhaps run a few workshops.

On the teaching front, I have updated information for 2 confirmed classes at the Bead Expo in Melbourne in November this year, they are short classes but provide a good idea of my design and creative process and some students may even walk away with a finished piece. Details are on the Events and Classes tab.

1 comment:

Amethyst said...

Hi Bianca, it was absolutely amazing to catch up with you in Roxby and share your stories and show you a part of my new desert home. What you have made with your finds is amazing. I'll send you details about Red Earth this weekend.