One of the great inevitabilities of being an artist is this: Things Will Go Wrong.
Doesn’t matter how much planning you do – something will happen that will threaten to tip over your entire project.
Something else that I’ve learnt as an artist is to learn how to deal with these sudden changes. It’s been a very important skill to have.
Case in point: I arrived in Canberra Thursday afternoon in preparation for leaving to Namadgi National Park on Friday morning with the intent of having a residency at the Readycut Cottage. Aaron, Ellie and I had all been quite excited by the prospect. By Thursday evening, we were told that basically this residency, as planned, wasn’t going to happen. There were prescribed burns and most of the park, including Readycut Cottage, were closed.
Cue in: artist quick thinking. Let’s go camping instead, at a place nearby, we said.
Sure, but try not to kill the interstate artist please! You Are Here replied.
So Friday morning, we set off to Kosciuszko National Park, and specifically to Pockets Hut in the northern reaches of the Snowy Mountains. We camped in the area for three days.
In a way, we did end up with a residency of sorts, although a very differently-flavoured one. For starters, there were no facilities where we were, whereas the Readycut Cottage had power. So we had to cut our own firewood to stay warm and cart our own water from the river (remember to boil before you drink, kids). We had no mobile reception so we lived in this bubble away from civilisation.
An event that could’ve ended our collaboration before it even started actually resulted in a powerful work.
Here’s a clip of our Not-Readycut Residency, that was shown at Smiths Alternative on the 17th April:
Here is In The Morning Glow, one of the A/V pieces: