Tarkine in Motion 2016 - Que River Fire Dance

Saturday night finally arrived at Que Rd rainforest camp after near taking the Corolla down the wrong forestry Rd, which could have led to a bogged vehicle in remote country with no mobile access.

The rainforest was delightful, old Myrtles, Tree Ferns and Moss a world of deep greens and browns. Slowly and gradually we met the other artists with relaxed and content demeanours, some of whom were playing musical instruments, a gentle drum, guitar and flute.

Shelley Cusiter fire dance. Photo: Charles Chadwick

Shelley (Cusiter) told us she would shortly be performing a fire dance for the forest which is unfortunately scheduled to be logged this year. We sat on a log while Shelley gave an intense, mesmerising trance like Fire dance, expressing both strength and support for the forest and also grief for the logging.

I photographed the dance in low light without flash. Unusually for me using the natural light created by fire.

Charles Chadwick

Shelley Cusiter fire dance. Photo: Paul Hoelen
Shelley Cusiter fire dance. Photo: Paul Hoelen
Shelley Cusiter fire dance. Photo: Paul Hoelen
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Tarkine in Motion 2016 - Que River Sadness

Coming back to Melbourne after spending time in the rainforest I feel a deep sense of peace, as if the forest has soaked into me.

Cue River forest studio. Photo: Zennie McLoughlin

I’m sure this will wear off as I get back to work, and then sadly I realise that this forest will soon be gone and I won’t be able to return.

Cue River Night Studio Sketch. Photo: Zennie McLoughlin

I think all the artists at Cue River shared this sadness.

Cue River Sketch. Photo: Zennie McLoughlin

This sombre mood was perfectly expressed by Steve Ward’s performance on his dream drum as everyone prepared to leave on Monday morning.

Steve and his drum. Photo: Zennie McLoughlin

Goodbye Tarkine.

Zennie McLoughlin

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Tarkine in Motion 2016 - Let it Be

A few thoughts written by Steven Liaros while in the forest, with photos by Nilmini De Silva.

Julias Creek. Photo: Nilmini De Silva

Let it Be - by Steven Liaros

"40,000 years of aboriginal presence,
200 years of European activity"

This, they say, will be our experience of the Western Forests.
Queenstown bears witness to the activity,
In the Tarkine I can, for now, still feel the presence.
Learn to be present
And let it be...

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Tarkine in Motion 2016 - Interview River Devil

Michael Gay had a chance close encounter with a wild Tassie Devil in broad daylight near the Interview River, Micheal details his experience here...

Photo: Michael Gay

After walking into the Interview River on Friday we had a good nights sleep and set out the next morning to explore the massive sand dune system north of the Interview River.

Shortly after crossing the Interview River I made a detour up an unnamed creek for a look while the other members of my party continued on along the coast.

Photo: Michael Gay
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Tarkine in Motion 2016 - Tarkine Sublime Near Couta Rocks

Photos near Couta Rocks by Dave Williams.

Photo: Dave Williams

Tyre probs 'forced' me to mainly focus on one area south of Couta Rocks. Turned out a blessing in disguise. So much amazing detail. Vast burned country was very sobering. Mostly wandered the wild coastline and dune areas capturing photos, film, sounds, dreaming, sketching ideas and eating yummy trekking snacks;) while hiding behind rocks from the wild wind and rain...between intense bursts of sunlight and rainbows!!

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Tarkine in Motion 2016 - Corinna base camp

Photos at Corinna base camp, along the Pieman River and Philosopher's Falls by Claire Bridge 2016.

Artist Zennie on the Arcadia, Pieman River. Photo: © Claire Bridge 2016
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Husshh…hearing takayna


An ecstatic meditation on ancient takayna/Tarkine wilderness in sound and words. Based on a one-week residency in the Tarkine over Easter as part of the Bob Brown project, Tarkine in Motion

The performance will consist of a mix of material developed as a response to the natural environment blended with improvisations.  BYO cushion or beanbag for ultimate comfort and relaxation. Chairs also provided.


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The Advocate - Artists from across Australia are spending the long weekend in Tarkine

The Advocate - 28 March 2016


Along with capturing the native forest through art, the hope is to promote protection of the forest and development of the regions economy Ms Weber said.

“In the bigger scheme of things, across the globe, this is a place that is growing in popularity.” 

“The intention is to point out that having a protected landscape of the Tarkine as World Heritage or National Park can contribute to the economy of the North-West.”

Read the full story on theadvocate.com.au here.


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Update - Que Road Camp

Hello. My name is Peter and I'm from Portland, Oregon on the west coast of the United States.

Photo: Peter W

Just over a week ago I was sweltering in the heat and humidity of Sydney, and planned a casual (push-) bicycle tour of Tasmania as a brief reprieve.

I had no idea I would find myself participating with a wonderful crew of Tasmanian artists working to protect the wild old world that is the Tarkine forest. But as luck would have it, a casual conversation with a stranger on the Spirit of Tasmania informed me of the action and at that moment I knew I would re-route my circuit of Tasmania to make it a bit more circuitous and much more wild, beautiful, and meaningful.

Photo: Peter W

By mid Saturday afternoon I had nearly pedaled to Cradle Mountain – a seemingly endless climb up from the dam at Forth River. By late afternoon the sky had become an ominous shade of gray and the rain began rolling in just as I rolled past Cradle.

The uninformed hope that a speedy decent lay ahead was met with the unfortunate reality of more sluggish ascents and blasts of what felt to be powerful Antarctic headwinds that chilled to the core and, worse, made even the downhills a slog.

As the sun set I wondered if I would ever make it to the A10 and, more critically, find the tiny gravel turnoff on Que Road to (hopefully) let me locate a small camp hidden in the woods before darkness engulfed the forest.

Photo: Stephen Ward

No such luck. The A10 did arrive and I did just make out “Que Road” on a tiny wooden sign before dark but soon I was struggling over the rocky uneven surface with just a dim safety light to show the way. 

After riding what must have been kilometers, I stopped and wondered if this wasn’t all just a sick joke dreamed up by a stranger on a boat. In the darkness I heard wallabies thumping around me and thought perhaps they’d be my only company tonight.

The only thing that kept me going was seeing fresh car tracks in the sandy bits of soil and though impossible to see with any certainty, I could only imagine them to have been left by a bumper-sticker laden Subaru or two. “This must be the way!”

Stephen-Ward-image3-small.jpgPhoto: Stephen Ward

I continued forward and at long last the bush around the road began to clear.

I saw a sign: one large blue water jug and ten meters further a lone shovel stuck in the dirt beside the road. Uncertain if this meant someone had been but gone in a hurry or perhaps I just had the date wrong, I carried on.

Just as the road ended: a Subaru! An open van with cooking gear and fold out chairs! Voices and lights in the forest beyond. I quickly ditched my tired steel steed and stumbled and bumbled my way through the underbush, stepping between ferns, scrambling over nurse logs, and nearly toppling head first into a small pond.

The sounds of this commotion made my presence known. I approached the site I could not have been more happy to see: a large tarp stung into a roof for an outdoor room, covering about a dozen bundled up artists resting on tarps and rugs, circled, smiling, around a steaming pot on the cooker. Introductions were made all around, and warmth was found as much in the happy conversations with new friends as in the delicious chili shared amongst all.

Surrounded by these artists settling in to protect the Tarkine, miles from civilization, I felt I had arrived, at last, at home.

The next day – Easter Sunday – the forest arose to life with a veritable explosion of songs from wild birds just as the first thin rays of morning sun snuck in and blessed the giant moss covered Myrtle trees with glowing warmth and brought a heavenly sparkle to even the tiny dew covered fungi on the forest floor.

Photo: Stephen Ward

In the time to follow, thirteen lucky humans awoke in this glistening oasis, shared one more meal together and set off for a day of photography, songwriting, poetry, and other endeavors aimed at saving this wild land, this blessed place, the Tarkine forest, from the ungodly destruction it is soon slated for.

Peter W.

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Thanks to the people who donated the wonderful fresh food eaten at Franklin and Arthur River base camps


The wonderful people at Cherry Top Farm located in Northern Tasmania near Lilydale donated a vast amount of food from their small organic farm for the Tarkine in motion artists to feast upon.

We would like to show our appreciation for John and Lesley's very generous food gift ....with the best peaches ever! The apples, peppers, zucchinis, kale, tomatoes etc. It was a massive amount of food from an organic farm. These guys also offer accommodation and I cannot recommend them enough as it is a place of warmth and good food which they so generously shared with us.



Gail Shepherd

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