Twenty years ago, Slim Dusty shared these lyrics with us. It was a part of his 100th album release…..’Making songs from what I know”…..He sings.

Making and knowing – a great combination.

As I’m preparing my tax return, it naturally leads me to being reflective on the last time it was submitted. Forget New Years Eve – it’s the start of the financial year that makes me reflect on what I should and shouldn’t be doing.

Since July 2019 I have delivered three public art installations, a long list of community art workshops, received 5 grants and 3 sponsorships. I’ve been on the news and producing a body of work that I’m feeling really good about.

The handmade paper pinwheels second site installation which was erected in December and located at Canoe Point, Tannum Sands is still standing and serving it’s purpose- to release kangaroo grass on site to germinate. It was very much an experiment as nothing had been done like this before in that specific environment and with a decent wet season and another dry Winter, the handmade paper sculptures are still reasonably intact.

In February, the installation at ‘Art-Port’ which is a Public Art Space partnership between myself and Gladstone Airport Corporation saw it’s third community art presentation. This time ‘round it was particularly fitting as it was to celebrate World Community Arts Day on the 17th February. Over the course of 8 months, I delivered many community art workshops in the Gladstone Region where people of all ages and abilities learnt about the basics of making handmade/recycled paper which was then formed into cubes and decorated by the many individuals that took part. 300 cubes came together for the event, with them then becoming free art for people to take with them on their travels. Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions lead to the installation and the community arts space to be dismantled and put on hold until further notice.

In between projects, I was awarded a RADF out of round grant for professional development and spent the week in Gympie with Environmental Educator and Artist, Zela Bissett to learn about making botanical paper. This invaluable skill has continued on into recent projects with the Virtual EcoFest and ‘From the Ground Up’ (see recent posts for further information). In between, I have been working tirelessly to seek alternatives In opportunities as Visual and Community Artist while communities and the people within them adjust to the significant changes.

On the horizon is some very exciting conversations with a variety of groups and organisations in the region. I am about to embark on some more professional development, and continue to link in with the many excellent individuals that reside in Central Queensland.

In a couple of months it will have been two years since we have moved here, but it feels like many more. I feel so at home here and the community is just wonderful.

I have a habit of getting nostalgic and also stuck on more challenging times of the past. This time two years ago our son Edgar was very sick and in hospital. Both Mark and I were unhappy in our jobs. We took a huge risk to move here, having never even visited Queensland before. We don’t have any family here – we didn’t know anyone! But it goes to show that sometimes (and I’m aware it’s absolutely sometimes) that risks are worth taking.

Study of work in progress. Large scale drawing for ‘From the Ground Up’. Pastel on Arches paper. June 2020.