Shooting the breeze

Kangaroo Islanders are used to severe winds, and it’s a lot windier back home at the moment. But back home I wouldn’t be living in a tent whose insides bear a layer of fine red dust – over everything.

Stop complaining. Today I see the Brolgas up close. For the full prehistoric nature of their faces see @quentinchester on Instagram.

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We brave the wind in the morning and the pottery workshop continues. Janine mimics a found piece of wood from the butchered Dead Finish tree and forms a pot using tools that are new to her as well as her fingers and hands.

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Deb works and works on her pot. Is she satisfied with the shape and texture yet?

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Kenita alternates between her clay work and her weaving. She says that arriving at Coward Springs on the red moon inspired her red moon weaving. She thinks about the women who came out to these remote areas in the early days and the tough life they would have had. She is making her Mirraca moon necklace for them, for that female endeavour in the landscape.

Her clay weaving was inspired when out at the mound springs she saw how the foliage in all the plants was intertwined to protect from the wind swirls. ‘In this environment everything needs many layers of support.’ She’ll weave in string made from local rushes after the clay is fired.

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Mirraca [Arabunna for red; spelling not known] moon necklace in the making on Kenita’s knee

 

We retreat to the museum – out of the wind – in the afternoon, when Gethin gives us tips on sound recording on our phones. Some of the artists are interested in incorporating sound into their art practice and this helps them make a start. He demonstrates different types of microphones and their purposes for those who want to move up from phone alone.

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Gethin (centre) demonstrating a directional microphone

Audacity, Gethin says, is very good, and free, sound editing software, and demonstrates its use as well. And he generously offers one-on-one tuition back on Kangaroo Island to those who want to learn more.

It’s a wild and wet night at Coward Springs and across much of the state. The best thing is that the dry landscape has a drink, and we all survive the night.

 

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