Tag Archives: Mutawintji

Mutawintji revisited

DSCN3409It’s ever so slightly Tuesday here but that’s OK.  I am combining my mindful arrangement activity with necklace arranging and as I make the rules here who’s to say that’s not perfectly fine?

Regular readers will recall a visit to Mutawintji National Park a month or so back.  I may have passed the comment then that there was a necklace waiting to be made.  And it is still waiting but so much closer to birth that I am hopeful of even updating this post later in the day with the completely assembled Mutawintji Mala.  No pressure.

Most of the elements are polymer with the exception of a few purchased beads-theDSCN3412 oval jasperite bead and the slightly shiny green and peach coloured disc beads-which were so perfectly Mutawintji coloured that they begged to be included. The rest- the bark, the bones, the stones, the compressed mud, the gum leaves and the goat droppings- are all polymer.  If I was being really authentic, there would almost be so many goat droppings as to spoil the necklace but that would be taking literal realism too far and denying the power and beauty of the place that still shone through in areas where the goats had not crapped quite so much.

DSCN3410Today, I have also included a shot for history!  Since returning from Nepal, I have used a home made light box that I made following instructions on the net.  (Quite a big deal for me!)  It has been great and I could alter diffusion effects with the addition or removal of Tibetan farewell scarves (kattaks) which made it almost a religious activity.  Draping the scarf took on a ritual quality.  But, the box was wobbling increasingly and theDSCN3415 I had replaced the diffusing wall a couple of times and it is not at all transportable.  (Learning this may have contributed to the wobbles.) So, I have decided to purchase a table top studio on a friend’s recommendation and will report on this when it arrives.  If it works and is easy to use, the plan is to take it to Nepal to photograph the ladies’ work over there.  It looked good on paper!  Herau.

And the observant reader will have noticed a new button on my page!  This allows anyone who would like to, to donate to the building fundraiser we have for Samunnat.  This has been organised by two incredible people, Ron Lehocky and Cynthia Tinapple .  Thanks to the generosity of the polymer community, we are over half way there.  Read more about this here and here.

 

Mutawintji and Monday

Gosh, it got to be Monday again fast.  Saturday was Australia Day and I must confess to mixed feelings about it.  There’s been a lot of flag waving and I don’t DSCN3282like our current flag.  When we are a republic, I look forward to waving one that more clearly reflects our independence.  One without a Union Jack.  I love the Southern Cross though so we can keep that bit.  Australia Day commemorates the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the moment of sovereignity of Britain over the country.  Not such a great moment for our indigenous population as it turned out and there have been other names for Australia Day including a Day of Mourning, Invasion Day and Survival Day.  All reflecting elements of truth.  Whatever it is called, and even though there are genuine attempts to include EVERYONE in the celebrations, I am not a flag waver at the best of times. The patriotism can descend into racism and bigotry.  And unfortunately, in the past it sometimes has.

Out here, a spell of cooler weather meant we could head to Mutawintji National Park just under 150 kms away, and spend a couple of days in a place very sacred to the indigenous populaDSCN3246tion.  At Mutawintji, there is evidence of continuous aboriginal settlement for thousands of years. The area was apparently a meeting place for many of the kinship groups around and the spectacular gorges and rock formations are very special.  The Homestead Creek campsite was nearly deserted-this time of year would normally be too hot to contemplate staying-but it was just lovely and I even needed the sleeping bag at one point during the night.  There was a full moon and a lovely Australian version of a trekking guide even helped put up the tent and bought me a cuppa in the morning. What more could a woman want?

DSCN3253The Park is home to emus, wallabies, lizards and four species of kangaroo including the endangered Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby.  Not sure if we saw any of the latter but we saw heaps of the other fauna.  A wonderful wedge tail eagle soared, to the west appropriately, as we started the Western Ridge Trail and flocks of almost luminescent budgerigars snapped past in formation.  Fabulous.

Tragically, the Park is also home to thousands of feral goats.  Trapping them is not even touching the sides of the problem and I do wonder what will happen. On our walk into the Mutawintji Gorge, a really special place with a permanent waterhole, you would not touch the water which is more a goat poo sludge than water I think.

I  love the colours of our Outback and so today’s arrangement (my Monday Mindfulness thing for the new readers)  is a celebration of thoseDSCN3285 fabulous colours. (Observant readers will spot a beloved shaligram in there too!) I found the gumnuts on runs or they are from trees in our garden and I especially love the little yellow ones that look like they have been piped from the icing bag.  (That was a very slow run that morning)  I’DSCN3256ve made earrings from the orange ones in the past and naturally feeling a Mutawintji necklace coming on.  Unfortunately, to be truly authentic, it will HAVE to incorporate polymer goat poo.  But that could still be decorative.  I’ll keep you posted.

And I haven’t forgotten the necklace draw.  Stand by for results! But don’t fear, the winner won’t be getting a faux poo necklace.