Two weeks ago I arrived at Falls Creek on a day that was so thick with fog that I could only see about 20 meters into the distance. Everything beyond was a mystery, just the way I like it. Even walking to Foodworks 100 meters up the road seemed like a great adventure. How could there be a supermarket up there when all I can see is thick grey fog.
On that first day, Elise Armitage drove me around to show me Falls Creek. Snow at the top of the summit, the “plug hole” in the local dam. I got to be chauffeured through the fog to places she knew and I was able to take many beautiful photographs
But tomorrow I leave Falls Creek.
I am completely surprised by how much I love it here. I have been travelling a lot over the last few years, to all sorts of places and environments as part of my arts practice and I have enjoyed them all but there’s something really special about Falls Creek. I imagine it’s completely different in winter with thousands of people all here for skiing, but summer is such a fabulous mix of fascinating landscape, people and climate. And there’s so many things to explore artistically, I have only begun to experiment with ideas here.
It has been so inspiring that I am completely exhausted from my time here. From early mornings to late nights out on mountains into the early hours of dawn where I was projecting images, recording sounds and the countless hours of editing, writing and sharing.
There was only one night that I didn’t spend out on a site projecting, recording and photographing and that night I stayed indoors and made a touch screen display that could share all the content I have been making here.
Last night I projected images onto the Falls Creek waterfall for people to come and look at. It was a beautiful experience, many more people than I expected. Instead of presenting a final ‘show” I was instead showing images and talking about ideas of why I was interested in exploring images like this, animated by the landscape rather than by computer. Images that had a relevance here and a relevance beyond here, that tie together meaning and connections beyond the areas we know.
Tonight I had a small event in a local restaurant called Be Foods. I set up the touch screen display and explained it to people and then let them explore it on their own. It was a fun way to share a process of being here for 2 weeks undertaking a residency.
When I am coming into a community as a person with some sort of invited licence to explore the people and place, it is important to allow multiple ways in which people can enter my process, something that might be completely foreign to them.
Allowing them to see what I have been doing each day whilst I have been in residence with no particular outcome in mind. Through a blog, public sharing’s in different ways, workshops and invitations for interested people to come and be involved directly in process.
It’s important that there are multiple way for people to try to understand what I am doing as one way might only be accessible to some people.
There are many small things that I have tried here that I haven’t shared with anyone.
One night on top of one of the mountains I was taking some night sky photography when I decided to photograph some hand held long exposure shots in extreme wind conditions. Long exposures while the wind was pushing me around, meant that my body was moving around as the stars drew lines through my lens.
So, it will soon be midnight, in 12 hours or so I will be going home and in that time there’s so much to do. I hope to sleep a little, travel up to the top of the mountain well before dawn to make some more work before I go.
I will need several more trips here to explore the place and the people and I am looking forward to them all. I am looking forward to coming back in all seasons including winter. I might be the only person on the mountain who doesn’t want to ski. Instead I’ll be content with making stuff, sharing stuff, understanding stuff and maybe a toboggan ride. And I might buy a thermos for those overnight stays on wintery mountain tops.