Day 6 - Tuesday 31 March 2009

What am I trying to draw whilst on the island? The island itself perhaps?
Consisting of:
The vast vista, sweeping views of the coastline, crumbling, lots of tone
The cliffs, The Blade, the edges, the drops down, squares
The grass, its movement, energy and direction
Interiors, the dark hallways, shadows and light
The houses, symmetry, shape, perspective
Tasman itself, what can you take with you to draw with that is Tasman Island, dirt, grass, remnants, the stuff detritus, old timber, old wire (have a look around the old scraps to see what else is around)
What can I make rubbings of? The floors, walls, ground, whim, rail, lighthouse, rocks, concrete, etc.
What emotions are here on Tasman?

I feel my sweaty feet, the uneven ground, my rugged boots through the dirt, crashing through the ghost trees, strolling around the back of Q3, trampling through the knee deep grass, walking down the uneven pathways. I touch the old buildings and feel them crumbling mixed with layers of dirt. I think about the rain water collected in the old and new tanks as it trickles out of the taps, into buckets and the toilet. Im always so conscious of being sparing with it. I feel much calmer this time around. A lot of the initial excitement of being here has subsided, replaced with a sense of gentle knowing of this place, of a realisation of where things are on the island, what that object that I have been thinking of and have reproduced in an image really looks like and where it sits on the island. I run my fingers through my hair. Its dirty and oily from todays work, a mix of stale sweat and old sun cream. My skin has remnants of sun cream on it, my hands also. My clothes have a similar sweaty odour to them, my shoes and socks even more pungent. My back aches, then feels better after stretching, I walk around slowly theres no rush here, I have many moments of being tired, then re-energised and perked up again from the food. I dont quite feel at home but I feel a sense of knowing my place within this place even though in the scale of things this still feels very unknown and young to me. Life is different here.

The day begins at 7.38am, its wet, very wet. I get up and take some photos. Im gunna get wet on my way up to breakfast this morning. I get rugged up and then it stops raining but continues to drizzle a little. Once up at Q3 I have a big breakfast of muesli, coffee, scrambled eggs, toast, more coffee, but I still feel half asleep. The mornings work involves heading to the top of the haulage-way, after a very slow procrastination post-breakfast period, we start digging in front of the concrete slab that we cleared the day earlier and find the tops of the two concrete walls which are the walls of the old 1906 whim pit that would have been used in the old horse drawn days. We dig around the edges as well as fill up some of the uneven parts of the track and before long its morning tea so we trek back up to Q3. Fresh scones are had, yum, I eat four each with large but different toppings of jams and cream washed down with tea. Back to the whim and more digging, Scott and Chris stay up at Q1. Scott starts putting the outside fence back together and Chris repairs the toilet and turns the water on. I dig around the concrete edges and fill more of the track. Im visited at different times by Erika and Alan J. After a while Chris and Scott appear and Chris starts to dig looking for the old whim wheel, and sure enough after a few feet of digging it appears. After a further half an hour of digging he has revealed a quarter section of the wheel and its large spokes. There is a remarkable feeling of time that comes across me looking at what has been buried for over 40 years. Our eyes are the first to see it. We take lots of photos. At 1.30pm we head back to Q3 for a lunch of sandwiches. Im finally starting to wake up after a sleepy start to the day. After lunch we head back to Q1 and I help Alan S shift some stuff around the back veranda before giving it a good sweep. Im not going to work anymore today so I go and sit in one of the rooms in Q1 facing The Blade and Cape Pillar and make about half a dozen loose drawings. I get a few visitors Denise and Alan S and theres lots of people working around as these are the sounds that I can hear as I draw. I finish up, wash a few pairs of my socks, tidy up a bit then take a walk down to the whim. Over towards Cape Pillar there is a most beautiful streak of sunlight appearing over through the clouds. It looks like the heavens have opened up spreading its light onto one spot over the water. The bright yellowy golden light radiates against the grey scene. Its an absolute visual treat. I take lots of photos around Q1 and around the whim of this spectacular site. After looking over the whim that we part dug up I make the long walk back up to Q3, past the old haulage machine, the collapsed relief keepers cottage, Q1, then Q2 before reaching Q3. Along the way I again examine the dip in the island underneath Q2. I take a series of panoramic photos of it from a number of different vantage points. Im more and more intrigued by this dip.

Dinner is a most beautiful pasta bake with thick custard and stewed (tinned) apples and peaches for dessert. Midway through diner the lights cut out. There are too many things plugged in and its overloaded the generator. Chris goes out to restart the generator. When he returns he says we should all come outside and take a look at a massive ocean liner passing the eastern side of the island. The boat has what appears to be thousands of lights. It looks like a floating city slowly cruising by, its truly a bizarre site against the total darkness of the sea. After dessert, and the nights bizarre entertainment I take a quick Tasman style shower, then wander back to Q1 for sleep. Im very tired again. Its been a big day and its a windy night. Again the weather of Tasman is like a liquorice allsort, wet in the morning, overcast and mild, clearing with sun in the early afternoon, and overcast afternoon and early evening and then a windy night. I love it.