Perhaps I am a pink poodle.
I am not a bushwalker, nor a farmer.
I am acutely aware that I am an awkward creature in the landscape – I am not physically built, mentally conditioned or trained to survive in bushland. I can’t read the sky or the land; clues about the weather, and the significance of subtle changes in the flora evade me. I know I wouldn’t survive alone in this place. And apart from my own welfare, it worries me that I might be stepping on a rare grass, or frightening animals away from their homes. I am very aware that my presence flattens, snaps, frightens. I try to tread gently, but every move causes damage and makes noise – abrasive weatherproof clothing rasps, dry branches snap loudly underfoot like firecrackers, and as the incline increases I can’t hear the birds because my struggling breath hammers my ears.
I am an intrusion.
But at the end of the day I will leave.
For those who choose to live here – who have lived in this environment for generations, it is not a simple decision to leave. I greatly admire the Camerons who unlike me can read the land and are committed to having a positive and regenerative effect on this land.
My Marathon project commenced positioning a previously made sculpture in the environment – on hillsides, beside water catchments, amongst the trees, and in open paddocks amongst the sheep. That work was a large pink poodle; a form inspired by a topiary frame. I suggest, of all the dog breeds, the show poodle is the one least likely to survive in the bush and I suspect, the least likely to enjoy the experience. Perhaps I am a pink poodle. The topiary frame represents our desire to tame the wild, train the unruly, to cultivate, master our surroundings, leave our creative mark, and exert authority.
Creative responses to this environment are developing and imminent.
Responses to Marathon continue and like the landscape shift and change – sometimes subtlety and often dramatically.
Marathon invades my dream space: the bones, the seeds, the harshness, the reality, the dark spaces, the sadness, and the optimism.