Monday, May 12, 2014

Arkaroola just continues to delight the senses!

Having just returned from my fourth trip to Arkaroola over 2 years, I am still delighted and inpired by that arid and ancient landscape. The sheer size of the outback continues to astound and overwhelm as it silently stands witness to all we do.

Paintings cannot express the feelings that collide within one's soul as the eyes get reddened and lined with tiredness at trying to take it all in. I realised this time just how many people travel through that country and come home feeling overwhelmed.

Flashes of ochre walls this time in unexpected places were found as now, this time, I am finally able to start to get down to the details. Found, three more ochre wall sites to explore for next time!

The wall glows under the gums, a hidden site, not much visited and not well known, and darned difficult to paint with any conviction. People cannot imagine that this exists but there it is.... it's quiet ethereal presence from over 500 million years ago - a testament to how beautiful the earth must have been at one time.

These colours would have made up the landscape long before they all became melded into one dull brown or grey. They would have shone on beaches and riverbeds, the sides of hills and mountains - a veritable Garden of Eden.

Now, all we have left in the landscape are a few wild arid places, wilderness areas and sanctuaries, looked over by daring and courageous guardians like the Spriggs of Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. These are indeed sacred places but will we be strong enough and vigilant enough to protect them from the voracious appetites of a consumer culture. I certainly hope so.