Day 7 - Wednesday 1 April 2009

Aprils fools day! Will Denise get me today as promised? Will I draw more of the Blade? Hmm, yes I will. I woke up at 7.23am and started the day by pottering around Q1. A quick face watch, put on some clean socks then make my way up to Q3. It was very windy last night. It kept me up a bit but it could have been worse. The walk up to Q3 has me battling through the wind, the usual breakfast is had once I get there then I sit around waiting for something to do, I ask Chris if he has anything and receive a roundabout answer, so I wait some more. After cleaning my teeth I go out behind Q3 and wrap up the loose bits of wire fence flapping about in the wind. I find some old bits of plastic coated wire salvaged from somewhere else on the island and begin tying up the loose bits. I soon realise that Iíll run out of wire before getting the job done, so I tie up every second bit. I finish shortly afterwards and go and find some weeding to do before a spot of morning tea down at Q1, as prepared by Sue.

Its still windy but thatís a nice change. Scott has his hand wrapped in a bandage and feigns that a cat has bitten bitten him, however April fools is still strong in my mind and I and many others are not fooled by his antics. After morning tea Chris and I go and paint a couple of bits of wood outside of Q1 ready to put up outside once they dry. I clean a very dense green moss covered bit of timber to reveal a beautifully clean and white surface underneath. I doubt that this surface has been cleaned for 30 years. I put up a clothes line, hangout some of my clothes to get a good airing, then its back up to Q3 for lunch. Home made bread, cheese and tuna. There is a sign of testiness in the air and tension is starting to appear within some in the group. A few people are rubbing up each up the wrong way, there's the occasional snapping, and I can feel the tension in the air. Oh well. Island life. Unfortunately it has played right into my mood, and probably some of the others also. For the first time today I felt shitty about the work load. This afternoon and tomorrow Iím going to take a day off. No asking where I can work, thatís it, Iím taking some time off.

I felt a little closure today about Tasman Island. About when I should stop being excited about this place and when I will stop using it to explore artworks with and try something else. Perhaps Iíll continue to use this place for my MFA and then move on. Thereís only so much one can dig up, be inspired, use and explore with one place. Indeed I am in mood...

I said to myself that I would take this afternoon off, but I didnít. I painted another few boards, then primed some window frames as well as helped Chris with a few other things. I now really feel like a day off. I feel a little tired, a little used, a little unthanked as a volunteer. A littleÖ well I donít know but at this stage I donít feel as if this trip has been as fruitful or enjoyable as the last Ė particularly in terms of personalities. Anyway, Iím off to dinner at Q3. Mike cooks an asparagus bake, which is heavenly. The Tasman food gods are definitely with us, however the weather gods are not. We have stewed apples and custard for dessert, then Iím off back to Q1 and bed, but more importantly for a bit of my own down time. Iím very tired again and look forward to sleeping. Only 3 sleeps to go until home, which I am now missing. Today I felt my mind in overload, emotionally affected by the personalities and not the place. The place was cold, bitting winds, moist air, fast free flowing across the top of island, and clouds many clouds, with the occasional hard sun poking through and burning my skin. There was flecks of paint blowing in the air and stinging onto my skin. The grass was constantly being blown from side to side, the house gently creaking, the old water tanks shuddering and flapping. The years of dirt being washed away, the crunchy floorboards and the foul water sitting in the old unused and rotting water tanks. The difficulty of walking into the wind and its sound howling through every last gap and crevice. This isnít an idea of an aesthetic place, but a living place filled with intense heavy strong and powerful natural elements. Its an environment twisted, warped, destroyed, created, punished, moving, forever in a state of push and pull, of slowness against speed, of intense light and dark, pain and pleasure, colours and infinite array of tonal greys, of mood and emotion and physical extremities. Itís a place that provokes much wonder and dreaming and cold hard fact. Its distorted but seemingly perfect, filled with many contradictions and contrasts, of spirit untamed of accentuated sound, of nothing and everything, of things you expect and things totally unexpected and of opposites. It is what it is I suppose but it has such an affect on ones self perhaps because of its unique features, its moodiness and as an intense environment.