Day 6 – Thursday 21 July 2016

Exquisite cyanotype's, Snail rock tensions and a new abode

From Snail Rock looking toward Napoloen and Cathedral

I woke up at 7.30, rolled over and went back to sleep until about 9 before finally getting out of bed. It was nice to have a sleep in. Brunch was at 10. There was Robert (papermaker), April and her partner and Ashley and Chris. It would seem that everyone had a big day yesterday. Adventures at the Grand Canyon and Cathedral Rock were the headlines.

Following brunch I went over to Nellie’s studio and had a look at her cyanotype’s that she had been working on since being at the colony. Basically cyanotype (blue) is a photographic process where by a chemical is put onto a surface, the surface is then left out in the sun with objects on it, the sun does its work and makes a print of the objects but in quite beautiful subtle tones. The outcome is quite ethereal and Nellie has been working hard because there were many of them spread out over the floor and pinned to the walls. We talked a little about the process and some of her ideas and workings over the few weeks that she had been here. She has used all sorts of materials from around the school and surrounds to make the work, including the rocks, tumbleweed, cactus melon to name a few, oh and some night flower that she I must find at night and smell. (Damn I can’t remember the name). She had to race off to make another calotype with another artist so I headed back to my room, taking a few photos of cactus and rocks along the way. Time for me to pack up my stuff, on the way back to the room I saw Melissa (combative performer) who was waiting for her shuttle bus for the trip back home for a few days then New Zealand. I packed up, wrote some more and waited for Eric to come and get me.

Nellie's studio Nellie's studio Nellie's studio Nellie's studio

An hour passed, I had packed, went looking through facebook a few times, called the hire car company, then I got a message from Eric saying that he’ll come and get me at 4.30. It was about 2-2.30 when I got the message so I thought great, time for a walk up behind the school and a chance to test out Dave Pyefinch’s GoPro. I packed a lot of water, the camera, put on some sun cream and was out the door. I took the same walk as my first full day here but once I got to the top instead of turning right towards Napoleon, I turned left and headed up towards Snail Rock. Snail Rock is the name given on the student drawn map. It actually consists of two red rock peaks about 10-15 metres apart with the first one being larger than the other. I set up the GoPro and my iphone camera, both on time-lapse and strolled around both peaks, narrowing into look closely at the rock as well as the extremely vast views out over the school and in the other direction over the valley. The sun decided it would sit behind a large swathe of clouds, and the clouds themselves decided to stay motionless so the Go Pro time-lapsing idea was a bit of a failure.

Snail Rock

With about 10 minutes before I had to leave, I found an excellent section of the rock that up close, and I mean really up close, was quite beautiful. These grand, but miniscule crevices in the most beautiful energetic red rock formations were appearing in many places in front of my eyes. I took many photos. Sometimes the little things, which are there right in front of ones eyes, are the most interesting. After 10 minutes was up, just after 4pm, I started the trek down. I was feeling strong anxiety like I was going to walk into a snake or something so I was treading very carefully. No snakes appeared, thank goodness, but I did lose the path about 3-4 times (the rains the day before had smoothed out the path and made it difficult to find at times.) At one stage there was a mild panic, but I found the path each time by back tracking and made it back down to the school right on 4.30 and there was Eric awaiting.

Getting intimate with the red rock The red rock Up close with Snail Rock Sedimentary lines in the rock

I bought my bags down, hopped in the car. We drove down to the creek, saw Julie and Thomas, drove back up to school, they hopped in (they came back to the school in another car) and off we headed to dinner at what was to be my new hosts house in Uptown Sedona. My new hosts life a few blocks from the centre of the Uptown Sedona strip and their house was lovely. We had a beautiful dinner, joined by Vince, a painter but also Deputy Director of the Sedona Arts Centre and Dennis (runs the ceramics studio at the centre) and his wife Pat. Eric took off midway through the dinner because he had another dinner to attend. After we had finished our meal, we sat outside, chatted and reviewed the colours of the sun setting a most beautiful, calming and cool way to end the day. The others left and I chatted for a little while with my new hosts before heading into my casita to go to bed, speaking of which is huge, and very comfortable but some reason I just couldn’t get to sleep for a while. My mind was running over too many things.

Snail Rock