Coast Art Walk no. 4

Fire Passing and a sand spiral

Friday 19th Feb - a hot day, we are into the season of high humidity. I chose to work in the littoral forest behind Seven Mile Beach in the National Park. There is a track known as the sand track that runs parallel to the beach, I walked south into the bush, enjoying the shade and the sound of different birds, the waves crashing on the beach- out of sight but still present.

The passing of a fire through here years ago is still evident in the charred trunks of the endemic Blackbutts - Eucalyptus pilularis. Named for the darker sock of bark on the lower section, these are still charcoal on the fibrous outer surface. The dark black shows up the wavy fissures of the bark. I had been walking along collecting yellow leaves that caught my eye on the ground. I had quite a lot in my collecting bucket and so I stopped at an impressive giant Blackbutt and began to fit the leaves into the bark fissures. Creating in this way is always quite random, I rarely start out with an idea - it evolves as I respond to materials and aesthetic decisions that start to inform what is happening. You start to think - "am I going to place the leaves all the way around the trunk?", "how high should I go?". My own physicality usually plays a role. I work at a height that is comfortable for me. I don't stand on things, or make it too hard by working really low down. Thus the parameters become set.

Some small birds gave alarm calls for a while as I worked but eventually got used to me and they continued on their way too. The piece was done. I did wonder what the next passing mountain biker who used the sandtrack would think.

I continued further down the track than I have walked before, hoping for a side track to the beach but eventually had to just pick an open section and ended up scrambling through the thicket of Teatree on the sanddune behind the beach. Plenty of spiderwebs in there! On the wide untouched sweep of Seven Mile Beach I decided to walk a spiral. It was already too hot to do anything that would take time. My footprints remained and I walked on.