Friday, October 30, 2009

People of the Pearl Shell

Rebecca Ward and I spent the weekend at Stradbroke Island working on the Swamp Cartography collaboration.
Words cannot encompass how beautiful and inspiring this was. We did a cultural/archeological/botanical tour with Shane Coghill of the Goenpul tribe- the People of the Pearl Shell. Shane took us right into the wallum on the narrow tracks made by wallabies. All around us was the stiff tangle of leucopogon, leptospernums, sedges and Dianella. As we looked into the heart of a clump of reeds for lizard eggs I noticed a Forked Sundew on it's long spindly stalk reaching through the blades towards the sun.
Shane took us along an old road shaded by the huge Bloodwood trees, there was an eagles nest , big enough to house human children balanced high up.
We took a lot of impressions in clay and our weird resin products. We took a lot of impressions in our impressionable brains, ancient stories, vegetation, dried leaves stippled shadows , in that strange, filtering, creative, process.

Originally published in Rebeccca Ward and my blog about the collaborative project Swamp Cartography.

1 comment:

Jay Dee said...

Thanks so much for posting this! Coming from further north, I've always wondered what the local inidgenous communities were called? Thanks!