Day 9 - Friday 13 April 2012

8.38pm Ė The last full day. I woke at the usual time, did the usual morning ritual, washed my face and hair three times covering them in cold water, get changed, breakfast ritual, off to Q1 with Chris whilst the others went for a walk to the Monkeys at the southern end of the island. Chris and I installed a down pipe into one of the gutters then levelled out and set up the last of the gutters that will go on during the next trip. Morning tea, and the walkers had returned, more work down at Q1 continues until lunch.

Today was a glorious sun shiny day. This is what I wrote as notes to myself this morning:
No colds, no flus, no walking into dog-shit. Its 10 days of navigating personalities, temperaments, different intellects, perspectives, upbringings, ideas, methods, stories, outlooks, customs, backgrounds, conflicts, clashes, sensibilities. Being here is about getting on with what you have, thatís of primary importance.

As I walk around today I notice more clearly the little pink and red berry bushes and small white native flower bushes scattered around the island. I take in the lime, grey, golden brown and yellow orange greens; and the deep grey, blue and orange brown dark greens. The sea is a royal dark blue reflecting the riches of the bright sky. Such deep blues against a wash of light to mid blue skies. A sharp line delineates where one series of rich colour meet the next. Where land meets sky meets sea.

Little birds are darting all about the place, the Yellow-tailed Black cockatoos are again making their presence known until two Sea Eagles scare them off as they play dance their way over the island bobbing up and down across the sky slowly heading southwards before they disappear off the edge. A mild breeze gives off a sleepy tranquility, or maybe its tiredness after being here for 9 days. The sharp sunlight makes the colour radiate with intense energy saturating everything in sight.

Thereís the red/orange brick of Q1, 2 and 3, juxtaposed against their white fasciaís and soffits, shiny new steel gutters and water tanks and the dull grey of the asbestos roofing, mixed in with peeling paint, a few rusty old water tanks and crumbling timber. These buildings have had their heyday, they have been slowly rotting away but now they are slowly coming back to life again. But what life will be had by them in the future? There will be no more light keepers, perhaps a caretakers program? The future for them is unknown. But the past is deep, rich, and filled with life, a life no more, now lost to fading memories of the few who were once stationed here. Soon they will all be gone and the memories will only be left to read about. And then what of the place itself? It will change; have new meaning, hopefully not left to rot out here, forgotten.

After lunch I spent the next hour or so lugging bags of ripped up linoleum flooring out to near the helipad awaiting tomorrows airlift out. Afternoon tea was had, then I took a walk over to the top of the lost world, one of many favourite parts of the island (the others being; the view over the eastern part of the island out of my bedroom window in Q2; and the view looking over the large crescent shaped dip in the grass across the Tasman Passage to mainland Tasmania from the top of the Zigzag.) I took a bunch of photos looking back to the old tip site, one od the few things that I really wanted to do on this trip but only now at the very end of the trip getting around to doing it. I wondered around a bit more, took some more photos then watched the first part of the nights spectacular sunset appear from the top of the Zigzag. I wondered back up to Q1 with the light getting more orange as I went. I sat on the northern porch of Q1, took my boots off and let my sweaty feet breath whilst watching the sunset get deeper orange then red in colour. After 15 minutes I made the slow trek back up to Q2, wondered up to the weather station Ė a high point on the island Ė to watch the sunset in its deep red phase. A further 15 minutes and I went over to the Oil Store, and then sat on the base of the lighthouse watching the red fade into the blackness of night. It seemed to go on forever and was a glorious sight. Tasman kept this special one for us until the very end.

I love coming here and experiencing these dramatic weather patterns as there is just so much variety in it. It dictates everything. Itís exciting, inspiring, ever changing, moody and surprising. Itís raw. It makes you remember that you belong to a part of a cycle of life that exists on the planet and it makes feel like you are just a small human on this great planet called earth. It makes me appreciate my place here. It makes me wander with awe, with surprise, empathy, calmness, intensity and respect. It makes me understand my own body, its smells, its cycles, when it wakes, when it hurts, when its impressed, when itís pushed to its limits, and when itís forced to make change. It also allows my psychological state to ramble, to be free from any other inhibitions, to be dictated solely by the objective and subjective nature of being immersed within a place, by describing its experiences, analysing them, and in some ways reflecting upon them. It makes me tease out ideas of place, art, the senses, time, and any other stuff that may also come up along the way. And with this trip I have allowed it be frank and honest.

Off to Q3 and the dinner ritual for the last time on this trip, the food we have had has been magnificent and really has kept the energy levels up well, even though there has been plenty of aches and pains. Surprisingly though my back has held up well.

ĎThe Lost Worldí, perhaps the name of an exhibition title? I should have heaps of fodder from this trip. When I get back I will have to get the images Iíve taken sorted out straight away, begin to tease out the ideas, and then get to work. I am very excited about the potential from this trip. I feel Iím in a good place, like the pieces are coming together, with only a few small ones left to fill.

I donít feel like Iím as much the visitor to this place like I used to. I feel at ease and at home and comfortable walking down the mown pathways, down to the top of the haulage, looking over to the mainland, feeling imprisoned yet free being on this island taking in and remembering all of the other multiple experiences that have occurred. Itís a lovely feeling being on an island like this, much of the fear has subsided, and Iím feeling more and more like there is a real sense of knowing and belonging to place. I canít help hearing Denise Robinson saying ĎI told you so.í

This trip has been pretty much about the northern end of the island. I havenít gone past the oil store all trip. I realised this midway through the day today and thought to myself that the next trip perhaps I should make an effort with the southern end. However, in thinking of this trip, I feel like I have absorbed more than I anticipated. I go tomorrow feeling content with a rich array of stuff to work with.

Drawing idea - Use the compositional lines of images of cliffs and/or close ups of rock crevices that I have focused on, and fill in the detail of the imagery with textured surfaces such as the surfaces of the rocks, lichen, etc. Composition + texture, as a way to break up the one-point perspective. You could even merge elements of sky into it?