I didn't come face-to-face with any Tasmanian Devils whilst in Hobart, but I did come across this group of lissom mermaids. . .
Four aspects of the same woman?
On a late evening walk around picturesque Battery Point, this mysterious image caught my attention - tar calligraphy? I'm absolutely certain it wasn't there the morning before.
The things roads get up to when the rest of the world is sleeping?
I wish I knew how to animate these kinds of 'found' gestures. Imagine these lines choreographed into a 3D dance. Lisa Roberts would know just what to do. . . I especially love this piece, her lyrical observation of Southern Ocean krill (with a spoken commentary by biologist and krill expert, Steve Nicholls) and this one that illustrates their life cycle. . .
The day following the Antarctic Visions conference, three of us took a taxi out to the Antarctic Division (about twenty minutes drive from the centre of Hobart) and spent the day in conversation with various scientists there, and too, drawing Euphausia superba in the krill nursery - what ephemeral, balletic little creatures they are. Exciting research is being done on krill's relationship with whales - theirs is an intricate and vital dance - and we'll be looking for ways to visually represent an important new piece of data on this subject. This collaboration is likely to include dance, animation, painting, poetry and music. (Geologist Rupert Summerson brought his shakuhachi along to play to them!)
This is all a bit disjointed, perhaps because I'm sitting cross-legged on the hard floor of Auckland airport (beside the only power outlet I could find in the domestic departure lounge). I ought to be in Christchurch but last night's flight from Melbourne was delayed, first by mechanical problems, then - when one of the aircraft's air conditioning units failed - by our having to take a longer, coastal route South. About half an hour away from Christchurch we were told we'd have to turn back to Auckland because heavy fog in Chch made landing there impossible. That was at about 2.45AM. It must have been about 3.45AM when we landed and 4.45AM by the time we'd all been herded into buses and off to a hotel in town to sleep what was left of the night away.
The first Auck-Chch flight I've been able to get onto leaves here at 8.00PM this evening, so guess where I've been all day? Actually, it's been fine; peaceful even. I've savoured (a good number of the) 100 Poems from the Japanese, surrendered again to the place and characters of Penelope's potent Island and been transported into new landscapes by Gretchen Legler's stirring essays, All the Powerful Invisible Things. (Gretchen was a co-presenter at the conference. I intend to write more about her book once I have absorbed more of it...)
Essential things, places of pause.