Green, brown and light grey, nature against humanity

Woke at about 7.30. It was a cold night, I had 4 layers on my bed and it was still cold. I hopped into the shower in anticipation of how dodgy it might be. To my surprise it was excellent, extreme power and heat, how lovely after a cold night.

Breakfast then on the road to Burnie and my first stop for the day, the Makers Workshop where Iíll have a studio for the next 4 weeks. Russell who runs it takes me on a tour. Itís a beautiful new building with sensational views over Bass Strait and Burnie. I spend about an hour and a half sorting out the internet and making my first blog post. The weather seems to get better by the minute. Itís cold but lovely and sunny.

Next stop Burnie Regional Art Gallery for a quick hello and another look around the large cavernous space Iíll be exhibiting in later in the year. Funny it looks smaller this time. Go figure.

Upright basalt cliff structure with unit block, Burnie

Some shopping for supplies before a visit to the basalt columns of Burnie. A few years ago a block of flats were build on top of these protruding basalt columns making for a very strange sight. Multi-million year old rock columns and sitting on top is this garish new apartment block. It looks as if the vertical sits atop the horizontal. The developers of the apartment block in their wisdom have built into the surreal landscape a waterfall to add an even more phony sense of irregular placement of nature against humanity. There is something so fascinating about this though. Visually itís the most stark combination of the built environment against incredibly old and beautiful rock formations. As I take many photos in dumb-foundedness I eye off a parking inspector nearing my illegally parked car so Iím soon back on the road again.


Next stop Fossil Bluff just outside of Wynyard. I take the coast road into Wynyard and am treated to the real beauty of the NW coast and Bass Strait. Fossil Bluff is a beautiful peaceful and unique landscape, sitting quietly under the shadows of Table Cape. Firstly I walk up the lookout and take in the views across Burnie and beyond, before making my way onto the beach around the rocks and a glimpse at deep deep time. Up top there is a layer of rock a mere 100 million years old, the main section of the rocky bluff landscape is made up of a sandstone coloured rock 300 million years old, and the small very dark bottom layer 500 million years old. Imbedded in the lower layers is different coloured rocks jutting out like cherries waiting to picked off a tree. But this is 500 million years old and this rock is not for picking but rather gazing at in awe. Out to sea and over to the left is Table Cape, the remanent of an extinct volcano. Itís a little like a small version of Tasman Island or The Nut. The surrounding paddocks are either lush green or ploughed and deep rich brown or earthy red. This is colour saturation a la natures finest, and itís all over the NW coastline.

Suddenly I realise I forgot to purchase some clip lock bags. Damn, there goes my thoughts, back in the car I head into Wynyard for another supermarket experience. Neon lights and coloured packaging replace thoughts of deep time, but soon Iím on the road again heading for the lighthouse atop Table Cape.

Round the small windy roads and up towards the top through more lush paddocks and busy farming land. The black-tarred roads are covered in dark brown dirt, whereas the dirt roads are a beautiful rich brown colour and this captivates my eyes. The lighthouse appears, itís smaller than I thought it would be. No one else is around. I think of my friend Karl who takes tours into the lighthouse. Heís not around at the moment but will be next week so I hope to catch up with him for a chat.

Back on the road, its only 3 in the afternoon but it looks like the sun is about to set, thereís a beautiful orange glow appearing over west. More windy roads through greens, browns and earth reds before Iím back on the Bass Hwy cruising towards Rocky Cape.

Rocky Cape lighthouse

Once back at the shack I decide to check out a few side roads in the park. OK Rocky Cape is a small park, but has some utterly and remarkably weird rock formations in strange hues of light pink, white and light grey, and what almost appears to be silver, protruding out of deep green scrub. Gone is the rich brown, replaced by a very light grey, almost white rock and gravel. I make my way up the lighthouse, yes another small one, set up my camera and take a series of images in the extraordinary bright and intense sinking light of the day. The orange now includes deep gold and the hint of blood orange. The foliage turns deep green. I must do some walking around this park before I leave. It is so very beautiful and there are caves. I envisage quite a few days exploring Rocky Cape, but for now its back to the shack, cook some dinner and get the fire going for the cold night ahead.

As I cook dinner the sunset seems to linger for hours. Every minute or two I am lured to the window facing the beach for crazy cloud formations set against oranges and reds. Finally darkness. Dinner is devoured, then I watch episode 6 of ĎThe Story of Filmí, 1953-57, The Swollen Story. I write down three things, superimposition, ĎIkuruí by Kurasawa, and ĎOíDreamlandí as it reminds me of Nathan Taylorís work.

Whilst in Burnie today putting up a poster in Burnie Linc I came across the dvd ĎFallen Angelsí 1995 by Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai which I watch after the story of film and I write the following before going to sleep, ďFallen Angels, disembowelled emotionally. An attack on the after hours senses, gloriously tense and annoying, woobly and discombobulated. Australian Chris Doyleís cinematography is one minute so annoyingly frustrating in its use of wildly moving close up wide angle lens shots, before a moment later it is deeply seducing by soft poetic subtlety within the darkness providing a contrasting tenderness. Layers of desperation, floating, somewhat disparately together in this swirl of unrelenting restlessness."