November 1, 2014
Bumberry Dam Excursion from david and elizabeth white on Vimeo.
At the moment I've just started teaching my first class of Year 12 students. They're such a sweet trio, and I don't think I could ask for a more enthusiastic bunch to take on the journey for their HSC. They go along with my strange ideas for finding art in interesting places and seeing the opportunity for inspiration all around.
This week we went on an excursion to one of our local dams to explore and gather ideas for a preliminary work they are working on. This is a little of what we saw.
October 1, 2014
The way a place looks and feels when you first walk along the streets, and drive through the energetic bustle of people absorbed in occupying their lives; is a short-lived opportunity, when everything is fresh, unexperienced, misunderstood and present for only a moment. While we waited beside the rickety baggage carousel, hoping the next collection of bags would include our own, I was reminded that our first moments in a new place can be our most hopeful, we are eager eyed, without routine and completely unaware of how to fit and exist outside our comfort zone. Its precious. Its short. Its valuable. Its a space that we rarely enter.
Travel has that brilliant way of reminding me that there are great and wonderful lives being lived all across the world. And while differences seems to confront me greatly, it seems that what we share in common is far more beautiful and precious.
September 16, 2014
"How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we told about our life. Told to others, but - mainly - to ourselves."
Julian Barnes - The Sense of an Ending
September 9, 2014
"The theory she had had when wandering through The Rocks four years before - that time was a great black vortex down which everything disappeared - no longer made sense to her. She saw now that it was a great river, always moving, always changing, but with the same water flowing between its banks from source to sea."
Ruth Park - Playing Beatie Bow
June 17, 2014
"After all everybody, that is, everybody who writes is interested in living inside themselves in order to tell what is inside themselves. That is why writers have to have two countries, the one where they belong and the one in which they live really. The second one is romantic, is is separate from themselves, it is not real but it is really there."
Gertrude Stein - Paris, France
I picked up this book and started reading it, a cold midwinter day in Brooklyn. If there is such a thing, I had reached the point in our trip where I had purchased too many books. A quarter of my suitcase was filled with them. I know books are the thing you're not meant to buy abroad, but they are the item I can't help myself with the most, including shoes. After reading the first part of Gertrude Stein's Paris, France, it went back onto the table in the store. Withholding I wrote down the details and my mum gave it to me for my birthday.
The quoted lines above stick with me as I remember how much I wrote and imagined when away from my daily routines. I'm thankful that the school holidays are a week and a half away. I'm making plans to tackle some projects I've had on my mind for a little while, and catch up on all those parts of life that I always seem to be behind on.
June 6, 2014
June 5, 2014
I mentioned last week that I had the task of writing a fiction piece that has had me completely out of my depth, but it turned out to be more fun than I expected, so much so that I might give it another go one day. This story has had me revisiting some of the streets of New York City, along with artworks that we found on the walls of some of the galleries and museums.
As always with us, every good adventure and story includes a good coffee shop. Here's a nice cup that we found on the lower east side.
June 3, 2014
I stepped out of the car into an empty beach side car park. I could only imagine the shortage of space that would be experienced here in the peak of summer, but out of season the tip of the Cape was empty, dank and forsaken. Sand dusted the edges of the bitumen, like snow gathering on a windowsill. I felt the wind rush against my ears as they became exposed and adjusted, after an hour inside a warm car. The stinging was like the cartilage of my ears was being rubbed back and forth. The wind gripped deep into down into the drum, and suddenly my head felt like a football player’s, trapped and swallowed within a scrum. I pulled up my hood, tightening the elastic, and tugging the fabric around my head, I determined to walk backwards letting my back take on the weight of the wind.
A few steps away from the car I stepped onto a footpath that would lead out onto the beach. The concrete became increasingly covered in sand, until finally it was overcome, and the path transformed; familiar and worn, a cut out track in a mound of sand retaining the impressions of those who feet had pressed the granules of the seaside. Each side of the trail was covered in wispy grass, coating the dune with a thick blonde mane. The slope separated the ocean from the car park like a truce between man and nature.
Taking in the scenery that lay behind me, as I pressed backwards against the wind, I passed the wooden toilet block, deciding between grey and brown, it was boarded up, shut down and vacant, laying dormant for the winter. Standing alone, as a solitary attempt to domesticate the coastline, the building was held with strong nails protecting it from a glint of salted breath. A solitary species, still and abandoned.
I'm revisiting overseas photos, keeping these places fresh in my imagination. 1) is beside the wharf, along the heritage walk in Boston. 2) is a sand dune in Provincetown.