I’m a true city girl…. an urban dweller with a love of the outdoors….but for three weeks I’m swapping my high heels and handbag for jeans, sensible footwear and a heap of red dust in Central Australia.
My temporary abode is at Curtin Springs, a large cattle station (100km long and 40km wide) situated between the township of Alice Springs and Uluru, in the Northern Territory. I’m the current Artist-in-Residence, part of a new program that allows artists to work, create and experience life on a remote cattle station.
For those who don’t know me, I live on the coast in a city suburb, with plenty of infrastructure including sealed roads, utilities, and shopping centres. I live in a world of convenience and choice – access at all hours to fresh food and entertainment, but with the negatives of urban noise, busy-ness and traffic.
My residency at Curtin Springs is an opportunity for a change of pace, and to gain a deeper experience of the people behind a working cattle property that also provides tourist accommodation, fuel and meals. They also operate a papermaking facility utilising grasses and plants from the property.
I arrived last Wednesday and its been full on since then as the family has been moving cattle, sorting and loading them, ready for market. I’ve been able to get hands-on, helping with herding and working the gates. I've never seen so much red dust, I'm constantly covered in it!
Between excursions out onto the property, I’ve had some short spells of art – working in my sketchbook, taking photographs and identifying birds and local plant species. I’m planning on making an artist book that looks at the history of the property (plenty of that!) as well as the natural environment.
I'll be posting about my progress with my residency in the coming weeks. I also post almost daily on instagram, my username is sandy_p09.