Tuesday, July 31, 2012

sandskin | bloodwater is an initial exploration into communities living in extreme climate conditions. Based on strategies of resilience and agency, dance ecologists Orr and Sweeney open dialogues with cattle farmers and other land managers following the widespread flooding across the upper Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

Monday, July 25, 2011

unsettling landscapes

how do we archive flood as an event that by its very nature wipes clean possessions, memories, livestock? within the domiciled histories of place lies a kind of guerilla memorialisation that stretches expressive translations of (a) place to more fluid and shifting definitions of where she/it/they once stood. The bed now converges under caked attrition and sits astride the shower curtain. utensils displaced and sedimented through mud, preserved in silt mummification.

since 2007 residents of gloucester share a collective somatic response to prolongued rain that in my own memory only accounts for summer of 84 when my family went camping in west ireland at the tail end of hurricane charlie. our campsite turned to mud overnight - my only 9yr old task to keep my younger brother clean while mum decanted the family sleeper. his hand slipped from mine and neck deep in puddle resulted in the harsh fine of an icecream ban for the rest of the day.

(Rachel Sweeney and Marnie Orr recording flood debris, Kalbarri Gorge, Western Australia, July 2011)

bigemia homestead's (western australia) eastern boundary is marked by freshly dug rusty tractors - exhumed through drainage, their awkward limbs now collect in twisted relief on the horizon. to the west, the old shearer's shed lies upturned over a solid remaining bread oven. too large to sink and too stubborn to fold into subsidiary parts. spare tractor limbs, a heifer's pubic bone, wide branches straddle eucalyptus trunks, ratcheting in cross stitch from fence pillar to post.

how might a cultural ecological framework manage these emergent properties? the dialogue is generated through small exchange - a shared will to return to former glory - to re-place stolen goods, to readjust the quotidian topography (most precious goods maintain an altitude of 2m plus). how might the tacit and the phenomenological invert a constitutive human vulnerability in sustaining diurnal activity?

rain as signifier.

place writing then becomes an ethical act.

(writing and stitching, Marnie Orr)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

kalbarri day two

Arc of bishop purple sifting wide through
Disney styled white slats and bay window glaze
Beyond campsite ruled a dazed and arid rude new blue.
Squints towards Far Western - "Deserts that aren't"
"Deserts that should be".

Promises of quadripeds with rocking stance
and magnet outcrops scattered uneven
through attraction and repulsion

300km due east
Upended Fitzcaraldo
Straddles WALGANNA
Her sails suspended
Inhaling faint salt breeze through desert parched canvas