Day 7 - Wednesday 11 April 2012

6.14pm Ė Another day of working is over. Although I do feel like that I didnít really do much. The day started as normal, I woke up at about 7.45am did the face wash and breakfast ritual. The island was grey and noisy due to the wind again. But after about an hour or two the wind died down, the clouds moved out to sea and the sun came out and it remained that way for the rest of the day, with a few whispy clouds and a beautiful sunset of orange and red streaks low on the horizon to complete it.

Guttering and facia boards down at Q1 made up the days work, interrupted only by morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. I didnít mind today. The stillness and silence was a pleasant change after the last 5 days of howling wind. Tasman was very different again in its clearness and stillness. Occasionally the birds would chirp. The grass stayed still in its position all day for a change glowing golden, green, white, grey and brown.

Elaine is the other womanís name. No its not I later find out, itís actually Helena. I am so hopeless with names that only after day 7 have I finally got it right. My legs were very stiff for most of today after yesterdays Haulage-way climb. But after afternoon tea they got less so. However, the flushing out my system, boy-oh-boy was it on full today. In fact Tasman always has that impact on me, all of the wind, the food and walking and working is great for flushing the system through. Enough said.

At about 10.15am this morning I was out the back of Q2 (flushing out the system) when there on the wall next to me, peering through a small hole in the wall made by the removal of a nail, was a lovely small camera obsura of the landscape colours outside the back of Q2. There was a streak of golden yellow followed by a slightly darker streak of the same hue, then a light almost white streak then light blue fading into darker blue sitting there on the heavily textured old timber that holds up the back end of Q2. And there just below was another one. In total there was about 6-8 of them. How beautiful to see the lack of detail of the landscape against the rough grainy surface of the wood. I took some photos Iím but not sure how they will work. It was really a very lovely still moment.

Still is the main way I could describe the mood and main attributes of the day, stillness over the weather, and stillness over the landscape. There was an extra quietness about the place when the conversation ceased around the eating ritual table. The colour in the landscape too was no longer subdued by a mass of grey cloud that the previous few days bought, instead they revealed themselves in natures true brilliant fashion. It was like a different place. There was a clear view up to Shouten Island, the clearest I have ever seen it.

When the sun came out and the warmth returned, unfortunately so too did the flies, annoyingly buzzing around everything. But with the flies also came the skinks, and they seemed to appear in droves. These beautiful little lizards were scattering from everywhere as I moved or change direction playing what seemed like a game of chicken with me. Particularly prevalent down at Q1 they were constantly dancing around me with great cheerfulness. In the cold of the previous few days there was no sign of these little critters. It was as if the cold had slowed down the biological clock of the island, but within hours of the warmth of the sun appearing, a whole new landscape and world of movements of all shapes and kind appeared.

I love the changing moods of this place. Its part of what makes it. It may not sound so obvious when reading through this diary, but the changes are also subtle. There are changes when the light hits the grass, on the colours of the cliffs, and the lichens on the dead trees and timber. The change in sky patterns are the most obvious, and most dramatic, but these smaller things, such as the lichens, are probably the most interesting. Although, I donít want to go and copy the grass, I feel Sue has her dibs on that, but the texture of the cliffs, the other plants and the dramatic grey skies inclusive of the fog I am very taken by. Sue talked about the Abstract Minimalist nature of her work. There is a lot of repetition that occurs in this landscape. I can see this repetition coming out in some of my looking down into the cliff works that I have done, maybe I should be looking to overlap, repeat and abstract these a little more, blended with this idea of grey and mist.

When Iím back home, I must remember to look at contemporary art in drawing, and landscape, or just some other possible Ďismí that I could incorporate into the work.

8.57pm Ė Tasman Island (Tasmanís Island); a wild, weather beaten, historic, natural wonder. Iím so very tired, my body aches particularly in the legs, my face is slightly sunburnt, my hands smell of dirty dish water. Its dark outside, and thereís little to no wind. The light keeps watch over all of us as well as the many sea farers out their in the dark void. I can see 2 dots of light out east on the sea.

And what of the night on this place? I find I am normally writing about the colours of the day, the moods, the sun or clouds, and the cliffs and grasses. But the night too brings its own sensory perception. Earlier nights on this trip have been crisp and clear as well as wild and windy. A couple of times I have awoken in the middle of the night and gone outside to have a look. Itís a beautiful thing as each time I have done it everything has been so very clear, even though it has been cold and windy. The overarching beauty has been in the silver grey light radiating from the lighthouse and the moon. I used to have much fear of the night on my previous trips here, but this time there has been none. Perhaps itís my familiarity with this place now. There are no bird sounds at night; tonight I can only hear the sound of the waves in the distance crashing against the cliffs. Tasman sleeps tonight. I wonít get up early. I value my sleep too much. I need my body to rest after the day.

I woke up this morning and was thinking in opposites, like Georg Baselitz, back to front and upside down, negative and anything that I think to do should then be twisted around and made into an opposite. Why? Well my dreams have been great the last few nights. Two nights ago I was an espionage agent and without remembering the fine detail, I was getting into all sorts of hairy situations then getting myself out of them. I remember the dream going on for quite some time, probably in relation to seeing the film, The Debt, shortly before coming to Tasman, (a film about three Mossad agents and the situation they get themselves during post-Nazi Germany.) In the dream I had last night I had found the perfect studio for myself to be working in, with a kind of cool but daggy 1970ís dark timber house attached to it. The whole lot was for sale, but the price was slightly over what I wanted to pay, but it was perfect. The studio was massive, and made of many rooms, backing onto a very rich, but private art collector whoís collection focused on one particular fictional artist that my mind made up whose work was also massive and really over the top using light, chandeliers, in all sorts of bright pinks, blues, white, etc. His artwork filled warehouse room after warehouse room. How could I not want to move next door to this guy? When I woke up, from both morningsí dreams, my mind was in such a good place. I love these dreams where the opposite of the things I do, write about and draw happen. Iím sure itís my sub-conscious telling me what I really should be doing rather than the things that I do, therefore I should listen to it more. I should try less to of the structured approach and experiment a lot more, pulling things apart, trying the opposite, loosening the structure, letting it flow as the mind does during a dream.