In late November I reluctantly abandoned my convalescing husband, and travelled to Adelaide to visit my Mum and rest of the family in commemoration of my late sister Kate’s 40th birthday. Mum and I enjoyed a long-planned trip to visit the Grampians in Victoria – staying in Mt. Zero, a location where she and Kate had stayed many years ago. In spite of some wild and windy weather we had a poignant time revisiting the places she had been with Kate. Here is a record of the trip, including some images taken in another of Kate’s favourite places, the Belair National Park.
We visited several lakes in the area – Lake Lonsdale, Lake Natimuk, and Taylor’s Lake. The last was the only one with any water, in spite of the promises of tourism websites. The last day of our stay had wild 35º winds and dust storms, and the effect of prolonged drought upon agricultural (wheat cultivation) areas such as the Wimmera was clear. Water management and environmental conservation is a critical issue in Australia, particularly for regional areas, yet it does not often appear in the headlines of our media.
I love to get into rural Australia and get a feeling of the ‘real’ country, away from our comfortable urban fringe. Here’s a gorgeous country store in Dimboola, selling all kinds of crafts, cakes, jams, plants, second-hand books and remaindered stock of toiletries – a school fete all in one shop 🙂
Mum is buying a cake for our dinner; check out the guy in top hat and steampunk goggles 🙂
Embellished tree trunk – coal and eucalyptus leaves
On November 1 I joined a cluster of creative women at Coledale, to participate in a ‘Collaborations with Nature’ ephemeral art workshop presented by Shona Wilson. It was a day of play, also of intense and tiring problem solving as we worked out how to work with the landscape, using no tools but our own bodies (and occasional sharp twigs!). My afternoon work was this embellished tree trunk, and I hope to explore ephemeral art further over the next year, following in Shona’s footsteps with her ‘One a day’ project. The purpose of this is to connect daily with nature in a meditative way, as a spiritual as well as a creative practice. Of course, I can’t mention ephemeral art without referring to the guru – Andy Goldsworthy, long may he reign 🙂
Here’s the next in a set of portfolios of my photographic work produced over the last ten years. This one, Sacred sites: Exploration, has images composed from photos taken in exploring the Australian outback and bush over the last few years, combined with some song lyrics that have been inspired by my travels. Readings of the history of the settlement and exploration of Australia have influenced these works – this is further explored in my next portfolio, Wounded Country – stay tuned 🙂
All the portfolios can be purchased directly from Momento Shop (search for Belinda Allen).
I have been wanting to try out photobooks for a while, but having looked at a few sites I didn’t like how clunky and inflexible the layout software seemed to be, and was concerned about the production quality. Then I found Momento Pro, which is a service for professional photographers and artists. I can use professional layout software (Adobe InDesign); the prices are higher, but the quality is amazing. So I have started to compile a set of portfolios of my photographic work produced over the last ten years. This one, Sacred sites: Royal National Park, has images composed from photos taken in the national park where I have lived for the last 23 years.
Check out a preview here where it can be purchased directly from Momento Shop 🙂
I am happy to announce that my work Tree of Knowledge from the History Trees series is selected for the 2011 Blake Prize Directors’ Cut Online Exhibition, and you don’t have to go anywhere to see it 🙂 Visit http://www.blakeprize.com.au/galleries/directors-cut?yr=2011&page=6 and scroll down to: Tree of Knowledge (exploration/orroroo).
Some of the other works are interesting too.
It will be online until the end of January.