It was just the two of us. Clinton, a Yindjibundi / Ngarluma man and I, a woman of polish parents born on Whadjuk Noongar land.
The Landcruiser rattling along over tinkling ochre stones, soft looking balls of spinifex and glowing white snappy gums occasioned the red iron rich earth.
The sky, huge and blue with one tiny puff of a cloud, I learned this was an early sign of the coming wet season.
As we trundled along, stories of country and 'when the earth was soft' tumbled out of my guide; and although generously sharing & educating people about his country is a daily practice, his love for the country is fresh and obvious.
We stop regularly to marvel at the many variety of flowering mulla mulla, the rainbow colours of the ochre, sacred places, perentie sightings, and just speech stealing
beauty and awe.
By the time we reached our final spot, I realise that his stories had changed the landscape. As I looked out over the country, everything had a meaning, and a purpose.
Everything, was so obviously sacred.
The stories helped me connect to the land through my heart, and naturally I fell in love.
This moment contributed to the birth of my first solo exhibition, Oasis.
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An oasis is a place of opportunity, where nature has found a place amidst the harsh red desert to grow something lush, rich and life affirming. Where birds, fish, frogs, and dragonfly frolick, quench, rest, rejuvenate and love. A place where dusty souls can drink in cool water, and immerse their hot bodies in the icy fresh water stream.
This exhibition embodies a few points of inspiration, and was an organic response to observing friends, family and the greater collective, parched and exhausted by life; their souls craving reprieve.
Travelling through the Pilbara for the last 2 years, the red dirt stained my bones and the cool waters of the gorges and oases soaked into my soul. A palatable magic that I wanted to share through my images. Spread across a few of the paintings is pilbara ochre, gathered with permission from Yindjibarndi country (Millstream Chichester National Park), and ground to dust by my hand on Whadjuk Noongar land.
Coupled with this inspiration was a commitment to my creative process; following my organic impulse and finding the place where land and I intersect. Nature has after all perfected the art of 'being' and beauty; replicating landscape is of little interest to me.
However, listening in to my inner world, and letting brush and hand move across a page or canvas as a response to being touched by my surroundings, (an alchemy or co-creation of sorts) is far more exciting, adventurous and at times challenging.
My hope, that these images enliven and replenish you; and that perhaps they may stir a deep knowing within you - that you are of this earth and there is magic to be found; out there, and within you.
My deepest gratitude to the traditional owners and custodians of this land.
May we listen and learn; may we hear spirit and country.