Bundanon Residency Day 9

I have been learning piano for about a year and a half and am quietly confident that down the track, I will be sufficiently skilled in being able to play music that I have only dreamed of. If I look back only a year ago, I was relearning which finger corresponds where on the keyboard, and now, as if by magic, I am playing pieces by Chopin, Bach and Mozart! The activity of playing/learning music is wonderfully distracting from the minds incessant chatter, instead, filling it with sounds that traverse the centuries. In this way, I find myself as a bead in the chain of life aspiring in to keep the song going.
The musicians cottage here at Bundanon has a baby grand piano which I practiced on this morning. A first for me playing this type of piano. The notes seemed louder, crisper and more emotive with the 'hood' up on the piano. The cacophony of morning bird chatter was interrupted by my playing and being so far removed from anyone's ears, I played with as much heart as I could muster. So much so that I brought  myself to tears! Channelling emotions via music is therapeutic, engaging and replenishing.
After practice, I went for a walk along a dirt road through the forest here at Bundanon in search of new materials for my artwork. I came across some seed pods which I spent then next several hours gleaning and placing into a plastic zip lock bag for later use. On the way back, 2 goannas slid amongst the humus, aware of my silent tracking. A thought came to me that perhaps I'm meant to be afraid of these reptiles. They may see my legs as tree trunks!


Bundanon Residency days 7 & 8

Yesterday I spent 7 hours gluing protea fluff on to paper in the studio and have still not completed the only artwork I've begun since being on residency. Time flies by at an astonishing rate here when immersed in practice. The day began with some restorative yoga and finished with some sad news. A beloved pet dog of my friend Paul had passed away from a mysterious cause, possibly a snake or spider bite. 'Nina' was a tough pooch and had survived a snake bite once before in my care. We have looked after Nina many times over the years and saw her as part of our family too.
Today, I decided to head out in search of natural materials to the Booderee National Park near Jervis Bay. I scooped up some samples of brilliant white sand at Scottish Rocks beach and Murrays beach before locating the Booderee Botanical Gardens where I sourced gum nuts.
Temperatures hit summer figures but I after feeling the temperature of the ocean, I was not about to strip off and go for a swim.


Bundanon Residency days 4,5 & 6

I had a visit from Maxx and my friend Flic over the weekend which was a great opportunity to leave the Bundanon complex for a day and go tour the surrounding area. About 20 minutes from Nowra is Callala beach which lies within the Jervis Bay national marine park and has fine white sand and is a playground for dogs off leash. Next stop, Kangaroo Valley where we clambered down to the river beneath the Historic Hampden Bridge which is a suspension bridge opened in 1898. It was tempting to hire a canoe but quite frankly, did not have the energy!
On Sundays at the Bundanon Complex, they have open days where you can get access to Arthur Boyds home and studio. Thanks to Erica, our guide, we had an informative look around the property and learnt of the Boyd 'Dynasty', the lineage of creativity which runs through the family. The family home which was completed in 1866 is a 2 storey sandstone home filled with artworks by the Boyds and some Sidney Nolans.
It was farewell to Jess and Sam from the residency who left Sunday. Saturday evening was a farewell feast and included everyone currently on residency. We sat down to a smorgasbord of rice paper rolls, salads, antipasto, falafels, polenta and apple crumble for dessert. Yum.