Bogong- Final week of residency

Bogong- Final week of residency

“Nowhere else have I ever felt the subtle magnetism of an ancient land that holds dreams far, far older than history” Elyne Mitchell

The seasons have changed whilst up here. And nearly at the Autumn equinox the leaves are falling and the skies are shifting. The smell of the forest is sweet and fresh and clean.  We had some strong rains and the creeks are running high and the lake is full. It is certainly a change after so much heat. The small birds are hopping in glee, and the spiders are finding dry places to be (preferably outside!).

It is now towards the end of the second week and creative ideas are being dreamed, formed and explored. One of my favourite poets of my childhood was Judith Wright. I have been hearing her words whilst up here and reading more of her poetry that seems to augment the area. Her crystal clear Australian voice is one of the mountains.

“Voice from the hills and the river drunken with rain, for your lament the long night was too brief.”

Memories of time and space flood in. It was when I was ten years old that I learnt of the snowy hydro scheme. A vivid memory of Geography class at primary school. It didn’t mention anything about the destruction of the landscape, only the success in harnessing energy. Together with these old memories, it has been been melding with my current landscape: The sparkly new with the ancient, and the not so new with the recent past. The memory too of driving solo, some fifteen years ago, from Mitta-Mitta to Omeo has surfaced brightly: in hindsight an initiation of sorts through these mountains.

The Aboriginals named almost every Rocky Peak ‘Bogong’. It is wonderful to know that this area was an important and sacred area for ritual and initiation,

I learnt of the indigenous baking Bogong Moths into cake, rich in fat and protein after they had pounded the moth’s bodies into a paste. I have to say that I prefer the cakes I have made whist here: dates, banana and apple. Perhaps that is for a trial another time when the Moths are here in the area.

Here in the mountains, there is a different quality of space and time. Of breath and voice. Moments transpose time and there is such beauty in the ephemerality of the landscape. I have enjoyed the process of recording my voice with the forest sounds.  

With thanks and gratitude to the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, for the privilege of having a two week artist in residence as part of the upcoming festival in April 2017, Phantasmagoria.