"water dances with reflections
the stillness is sublime
birds sing their songs of joy as the light beams shimmer
the peacefullness resonates all around
air so still and clean
eyes shut and I breathe
deep and long breaths
Takayna whispers her secrets ....
Memories etched ...
Peace settling deep
My soul ignites"
Tarkine in Motion 2017
Final night at Frankland River camp during Tarkine in Motion 2017, photos by Samuel Bell.
Thank you to everybody who made this whole experience ‘pozible’!! What a fantastic opportunity it was to not only document the Tarkine through my art but also to learn about the controversial issues surrounding this culturally sensitive region.
It is my intention to document my experience through a series of paintings on my return to the studio.
I was based at Arthur River and spent much of my time in the wild coastal areas (Couta Rocks, Bluff Hill Point and Edge of the World) and also in the nearby rainforest on the Balfour Track.
I had originally planned to record my visual memory in the form of photographs and some sketches, however I experienced every artists nightmare - a camera malfunction!! So, it became very important to get the information down through mark making, sketches and rough composition drawings. I actually do enjoy working in this way and the drawings record what I believed to be visually important elements.
It takes a while to get used to drawing a new and unfamiliar landscape as I need to use the materials in a different way to achieve the variety of marks required. The greens in the rainforest were incredibly bright and the subject matter quite overwhelming. I had to pare it back to what was important - the scale of the trees and those greens that cloaked the surface of anything on the ground…
Back on the coast are the most amazing rock formations i have ever seen - they are truly natures own drawings and I don’t think I will ever do them justice with paint, but will certainly have a go.
These are some small scale painting studies that I have been doing since returning from Tarkine in Motion 2017.
The landscape is very different from the East coast of NSW so still grappling with colours and shapes before going larger in scale...
The paintings depict the area around Couta Rocks and Bluff Hill Point.
" colours bending like the curves of the streams
richness abounds wandering the tributaries "
Tarkine in Motion 2017
Media Release - Artists return from threatened Tarkine wilderness – major exhibition installed in Hobart
Conservationists release new aerial footage of ancient forests in the Tarkine scheduled for imminent logging.
The Bob Brown Foundation’s successful Tarkine in Motion field trip has ended with a large exhibition set up and official opening in Hobart’s Long Gallery tonight at 6pm with Bob Brown speaking. While new aerial footage is released of the contentious Frankland River forests in the Tarkine where community members have been occupying for the past ten weeks, calling for a halt to proposed logging and protection for their unique values.
129 artists spent the Easter weekend immersed in Tasmania’s remote and threatened wilderness landscape, takayna / Tarkine, as part of the Foundation’s environmental arts project. Tonight, in the Salamanca Arts Centre Long Gallery, 179 artworks inspired by the remote region of northwest Tasmania will be on show until May 1st. Then the art will move to Melbourne for a major exhibition in the Australian Catholic University Gallery in July.
“Tarkine in Motion is one of Australia’s largest environmental arts projects and arguably one of the biggest arts projects for northwest Tasmania. Our Foundation hosted 147 people into the Tarkine over the Easter weekend. They were spread out from tourism hubs of Corinna, Arthur River and Tarkine Wilderness lodge, in forests threatened by logging in the north and south east of the Tarkine and in remote regions of the wild rainforests, coast and up rivers on kayaks,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.
“Our aim with Tarkine in Motion is to take artists into the place and experience its beauty, while also raising awareness of the threat by logging, mining and off-road vehicle damage to the natural and cultural values. Further to this, our goal is to use art in a challenging and inspiring way to raise the alarm that the Tarkine is threatened and inspire support for the region’s protection as a National Park, world heritage listed and returned to Aboriginal ownership,” Jenny Weber said.
“The heritage coast is under pressure from rapid degradation by off-road vehicles ripping through middens and Aboriginal hut sites. Artists witnessed off-road vehicles using the closed tracks on the takayna / Tarkine coast. The globally significant rainforests and eucalyptus forests are threatened by imminent logging by Forestry Tasmania, artists occupied and captured these forests still intact. Mining is an ever-present dangerous threat to the region and artists were able to capture the intact ancient forests that are threatened by mining proposals,” Jenny Weber said.
“New aerial footage of the threatened ancient forests in Frankland River was captured over the weekend by Trudi Bird, showing the breathtaking beauty and rarity of these imminently threatened forests. Our campaign to protect these forests continue as we occupy the forests with a conservation camp and call on the Tasmanian and Australian Government to halt any proposed logging while these forests are still standing,” Jenny Weber said. The footage can be seen here https://youtu.be/6JflXu_C-w8
“We look forward to ramping up our campaign with the images and art from this years field trip, we have great opportunities to build the pressure for protection of this globally significant landscape. Since we held the first Tarkine in Motion in 2015, the artists and art has brought enormous success to the campaign to protect takayna / Tarkine. Using images from Tarkine in Motion, our Foundation has published two books that are selling across Australia. Other campaign productions have included a documentary, concert in Melbourne and Hobart, federal election campaign television advertisements and ten exhibitions from Burnie, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney to Brisbane,” Jenny Weber said.
The environmental arts project was fully funded by funds raised on a crowd-funding site, where more than 500 people contributed $58 000. A blog was used to inform people about the activities in the Tarkine and can be seen here: www.bobbrown.org.au/tarkine_in_motion_updates
Images provided are from Tarkine in Motion field trip 2017. Images attached can be provided at high resolution:
Musings and unmentionable acts by Sue Hayes
TARKINE IN MOTION – Frankland River Camp April 2017
we stand tall quiet observing listening
as the men approach in their hard hats
and high vis vests
they wear strange cushioned headpieces
and cannot hear our silent protests
the machines start up
we wave them back
a clamour and wheeze a choked cough a hack
they sound unwell as the engines ignite
and teeter and jerk as they crawl heavy and ungrateful
over our feet
without warning they scoop scuttle gouge indiscriminately
metallic arms clumsy in their grasping reaching wide
thrashing at air angry and aimless
a huge cold pincer clamps on my body crushes my ribs
snaps my torso
like paper I splinter buckle under the pressure
my feet once rooted are torn apart
clumsy gashes I bleed brown
I think for a moment perhaps some tenderness as they cradle me sideways
pulling me down
but no they release their grip and I fall upon my discarded brothers and sisters
snapped and broken blistered
lying heavy on our sides
we lay abandoned on the forest floor
our trunks bleached now grey and brittle
for your delicate arse
for all the shit you put on me
T R E E
but raised one hand in a last neighbourly salute
they said that it was accustomed to trauma
The wood talks when its p u l l e d down
the stories start seeping
as the trees starts weeping
each layer of bark holding collective memories of time
inhaled in its leaves, stories shared upon the canopy
exhaling now only sadness
YOU Saw…….I Be…….
My hair tickles the sky and laughs at clouds as they pass by
My gnarled toes touch, inhabit, entwine, moss and vine, such earthly delights
The sun strips and peels and crackles my skin
Rains colour me blues and ashen hues, a pastel palette
YOU hit me hard across my torso
Your hardened frame mechanised
YOU grunt and groan and brutalise
I listen YOU SHOUT
I yield YOU block
YOU push I fall
But you did not see
It's been a long time since I really visited takayna. I remember as a child being held on the most impossible angle by roaring winds of the coast, and snorkelling through kelp forests. More recently a trip to Arthur River reintroduced me to the coast. Que Rd is different, and it really illustrated for me the diversity of a region that contains flowing rivers, soaring mountains, majestic forests, sweeping plains, and rugged coastlines all in a few hundred kilometres.
Driving in to Que Rd after dark on Friday was an experience and a half. It felt as though the forest was simultaneously clawing back its space from the road, while pushing we intruders out. The shrubbery alongside the forestry track at times felt like it would engulf the car. How odd to find in the light of day that in fact this was scraggly shrubs growing beside ordered rows of monoculture plantation that eventually gave way to towering myrtle and eucalyptus forest with the most mossy, ferny undergrowth. The folk at the campsite were welcoming and it was fantastic to spend a few days with a diverse, warm, talented group... not to mention the hearty food!
Wandering through the forest on Saturday my eye was captured on both ends of the scale, from the towering trees, to tiny fungi, lichen and mosses. I eventually chose to pitch my tent (having slept cramped in the car the previous night) nestled between mossy logs and under a protective canopy of myrtle and the gentle embrace of a man fern. My view could not be bettered: a glade of ferns where the sunlight danced in and drew out more shades of green than I could ever hope to mix on my palette.
The nights were so dark and still. The darkness was all the more striking when the moon rose around 3am bringing a contrasting light that filtered into my tent and fooled me into believing it was dawn!
On Sunday Jess and I journeyed to see the remnants of the Warratah power station, and saw the mine at Savage River. While the mine appears stark, finding a small frog at the side of the road in the buttongrass brought hope. On the final night it rained, gently, the droplets finally filtering in beneath the canopy that had protected us from dew. It was hard to wake from the gentle lullaby of raindrops landing softly on the tent canvas.
While I left the bulk of the artwork and it's associated mess to my return home, there are ideas brewing and I look forward to getting more inspiration in another trip... soon.
That's the thing about thoughts: they thought themselves and then just dropped into your head in the hope you would think so too.
Jo Pink has shared some photos from their walk to Interview River during Tarkine in Motion 2017.
Another day in the Tarkine Green Room, and my wish list for today is to find the beautiful coral fungus Ramaria. I am fortunate to find two specimens. A pinky peach one and a striking golden yellow one.
With daylight fading I find several other species then head back feeling satisfied with my days work.
climbing mt donaldon
i came at last to the last ridge
beyond which, perhaps, was sky or fog
a wall of cloud
dense and enclosing
but don’t say impenetrable
for this brume we all enter
i stood long before the darkening cloud-mass
and confessed to it my sin
not enough, not ever enough
and listened for their retort
the black-eyed angels that wait for me there
but only a chill wind ran up the button grass
carrying the Raven’s caw
so I picked up the smooth black stone
that lay at my feet
and I hurled it with all the energy of my life
and descended the mountain