The flowering plum, at the entry to the Riddells Studio, is in bloom once more, heralding spring in all its beauty and anticipation of new life. I wake to the sound of birds and the frogs croaking vigorously after the rain. The creek is running and cold though it is I am tempted to plunge in and taste the sharpness on my skin. I can smell fox in the air – I am training my nose to identify animal smells and the fox is strong. I smelt it recently in London at the edge of Highgate Hill. On my last day in London my friend Kathy and I went for a walk through the park under the great trees with dappled light shimmering through. Walking is companionable, civilizing and allows for things to be said and felt that might be difficult without the moving. On my recent trip to the UK, France and Italy I travelled by train and many interim journeys on foot – between galleries, parks, and to and from my transitory abodes. It felt restful to watch the world go by in these ways. Summer is gentle even with the very distressing events that have happened in London and Europe recently. The air is soft and people were kind. I am heartened by this quality of care and kindness I experienced. Now home in Melbourne I am happily ensconced in my work and life. And spring is here!
Peter Bakowski returned to Riddells for another afternoon of poetry, mulled wine and cake. Peter read from his new poetry collection: The Courage Season. I am thrilled to be hosting Peter at the Studio and bringing different performance experiences to Riddells Creek. The community here is diverse and incredibly appreciative. They stay and talk, ask questions of the artists and we drink wine and eat cake! Curating these events is one way I feel I am embedding myself in community and as I grow older there is an imperative to this sense of wanting to belong. To practice ‘care’ in the way philosophers Erin Manning and Brian Massumi speak of.
The world is so beautiful and to sense the impending threats circulating is chilling and painful. The planet is already wounded and struggling. It grieves me to imagine that we might inflict further pain on the earth as well as each other. My creative practice is a form of spirited embodied living. Beauty, poetry and kindness feel critical to this practice. Aesthetics is not a luxury it is a critical necessity to how I live my life.