Sunday, August 2, 2015

Exploring the Central West

As part of my week with Barcaldine artist Jo Taylor, we travelled around her local area, including a day trip a couple of hours north.

My time spent in the Barcaldine community with Jo has been a very enlightening one for a city girl like me.  I've now seen the effects of the drought first hand, from the dry brown landscape to the never-ending line up of dead kangaroos killed on the roadside.

The rich red colour of the dirt and dust is amazing, particularly juxtaposed against the blue of the cloudless sky.  Its been a little warmer than usual and of course, no rain.

Our road trip took us up to an area not often visited by tourists - Gray Rock and Horsetailer's Gorge. The day was one of wildlife viewing, with Jo's knowledge of local plants and animals giving me an insight into the areas we visited.

Bushman's Clothes Pegs (grevillea glauca).  These
amazing seed pots were up to 5cm across and really hard.
The name refers to its historical use.

Black cockatoos feeding on the ground.

The dry landscape on the road to Aramac.

This is Jo after digging around in ochre powder - she's not doing
a mime impression!
Australian Bustard - one of my favourite birds I saw here.
Aramac selfie!

During the week we also worked in Jo's art studio on the verandah of her house in Barcaldine.  I taught her how to process solar etching plates, using her bathroom as a darkroom and the sun for exposures.  I worked on a series of monoprints using wren imagery and local plants, including leaves from a Black Iron Box tree.

Embossing on the reverse side of a monoprint.

Print in progress.  I'm lifting off grass from
a finished print.

Me printing using Jo's press 'Maggie'.
Happy days!

Jo and I in her studio.
p.s. I printed my apron using eco-dyeing and
solar dyes.

Here I'm lifting the print off the plate after printing.

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