Yesterday started with a silent walking workshop with Ienke Kastelein. Although the workshop started at 8am it was already very hot. Our small group ventured up the hill in silence, meeting under the shade of a tree so Ienke could guide us to the next part of the workshop. We were asked to see want came across our path and to pick things up that catch our eye. We were also asked to find a plant that we felt connected to and to spend some quiet time in the presence of this plant. I found a beautiful old Cacao tree, which I photographed from many perspectives but largely using macro. It seemed appropriate to use macro as it is a very intimate way of seeing things. After our ‘plant time’ we gathered at Ienke gave us all paper and pencil to write to our plant. We then walked back to the apartments and Ienke invited us to bring the objects we had gathered (except for the rubbish I had picked up and thrown in the bin). In silence we then made an arrangement on the table of our finds, each person placing their objects in turn. I really enjoyed this workshop and the opportunity to find quiet. It was very much a walking meditation and a means of bringing our surroundings into awareness. Thank you Ienke!
After the workshop, there was a presentation by Lezli Rubin-Kunda about some of the works she has made that respond to the theme of Plant(e)scape. Over many years Lezli has explored the connections between nature and knowledge and her presentation covered some really interesting works. Her practice is performative in the way that she sets up situations to film her engagement with an object / space / plant. Her work would then proliferate in many forms, for example many of the video stills were then photographed from the TV screen and printed quite large – picking up the grain of the image. I found this very poetic as well as resonating for me some of the work I was doing early in my PhD research where I was photographing the news on TV. Her website has lots of examples of her work.
The last and perhaps most adventurous part of today’s story was a journey to the beautiful and remote Fontana Amoroza. We set off in a small hire car, taking the route over the mountain to the coast. It was 13 km of windy, narrow, unsealed road – a very sandy track with lots of sharp limestone rocks. Our driver Greg (another artist from Oz) did an amazing job getting us almost to the Fontana Amoroza. About a kilometre from our destination we stuck a very steep section of the road and after we inspected more closely we decided to leave the car and walk. I was not prepared for any walking as I was wearing a skirt and flip-flops but it was not too bad. We arrived at Fontana Amoroza and went for a swim. It was so beautiful. The water was quite salty and incredibly clear. It was a stony beach covered with pebbles of all sizes. It this point my camera battery died so I did not get any images. I collected a few stones which called to me and perhaps I will make some runes with them.
One member of our group was keen on walking back along the coast to Aphrodite’s Rock so I decided to join her on the walk as it possibly would be my only chance to explore the coastline. Although I was not kitted out for a long walk, it was so worth it. The views along the coastline were stunning and on the other side of the path we had the views of the mountains. After about two hours we made it to Aphrodite’s Rock and had a delicious dinner and LOTs of water and juice. My feet are quite sore today so I think I will rest a bit this morning before venturing out later.