Most years I try and write my year in review post as close to the new year as possible. This year felt different and I wanted to take my time reflecting on 2022 as it was so many things.
2022 was a year of journeys, of family, of endings, new beginnings and continuing connections to people and places. It was like the pull of the tide at full moon, where the ebb and flow of the moon is strongly felt through the waters.
This year’s post is probably even longer than previous years with bonus video content!
We made the big move from Canberra to Yarun (Bribie Island) – this shift has been years in the making and although I was excited to be coming home to QLD I was full of uncertainty about how our life would change and how we would settle into island life.
As we drove out of of Canberra, it looked such a picture – so lush and green after a lot of rain since Black Summer. Lake George was full and everything had an air of abundance. It was such a start contrast to when we first arrived in 2001 at the height of the millenium drought.
We decided to drive without an overnight break, estimating we would be on the island early the following morning as it was a 14 hour drive. This was also important as we had some very precious cargo in the car – our feline lord Odin.
The trip ran very smoothly as we took turns in driving and had lots of breaks for coffee. By the time we passed through Coffs Harbour there was a beautiful moon shining, lighting our way. It felt like we were meant to be on this journey and that the universe had aligned for us to find our way gently, with ease and grace. I remember feeling very emotional, my heart felt full of gratitude – for the time we had in Canberra as well as the chance to be back with family in the coastal lands I so loved.
After a month staying in a wonderful Airbnb in Woorim, we were very happy to move into our own place. It was a bit of a challenge downsizing from a 4+ bedroom house to a 2 bedroom duplex but we managed to do it (although we still have unpacked boxes and unwrapped artworks).
My dad also went into hospital for heart surgery, to replace a ‘sticky’ valve. The surgery was a success which was a huge relief, but it also heralded the unfolding of a challenging journey for our family.
A highlight of the month was being offered some casual teaching back at University of the Sunshine Coast, teaching design and animation subjects.
It was also wonderful to be invited to lead a workshop as part of the Delta lives project, based in the Indian Sundarbans region.
The standout for this month was a dose of Covid-19. We ventured to Coolum for a weekend to celebrate my birthday and both ended up with it. It only felt like a head cold and after numerous RAT tests Marty had a PCR and came back positive – lock down for a week!!
When I reflect on my calendar for April it appears to be full of work, teaching and meetings…
It was wonderful to return to Canberra for another Treecreate walk at Ginninderry. So nice to visit the cold capital when I know I am going home to the subtropics 🙂
This year we returned to Parihaka to be part of the Puanga events. Maata, Marty and I did more weaving and we took our ecodyed fabric over to be woved into the ketes Maata and made in 2019. It was very special to be on that sacred whenua and so wonderful to be with Maata and her whanau again.
Geert Vermeire and I also presented a virtual paper as part of ISEA2022.
Also in June I was invited to give a video presentation for Delta lives about connection. Here it is:
July and August
Like April – months full of work and teaching…
In late September I headed back to Aotearoa for a couple of projects. It was great to be in Whangarei as visiting artist for Awhiworld’s wonderful Plant Lab. The director, Maggie Buxton interviewed me while I was there as part of the project.
From Whangarei I went to Whakate Nelson to be a part of the ADA Symposium, where I presneted the first iteration of Josiah Jordan’s and my project Invasvie, as a video projection work titled Weir. It was also wonderful to be in a panel with the keynote Rewa Wright and long time Intercreate connection Pasha Clothier.
Check out the video here: https://www.facebook.com/ADA.net.nz/videos/1592546071168538
Another trip to Canberra for the Canberra Biennial as part of the Shinrin Yoku project produced by Localjinni.
In between these evening events I facilitated another Treecreative walk at the Ginninderry Conservation Corridor, co-led with the wonderful ranger Rachel Eland.
It was also wonderful to be the keynote speaker for the Reading Waters event exploring the Thames and the Nile, facilitated by Supercluster.
Ross Thompson presented a paper about Weir: The infrastructure of flow on Josiah and my behalf at the Australian Freshwater Science Society’s conference. It would have been lovely to attend as it was in Bateman’s Bay.
After a year of wanting to go slow, it was timely for Simone Johnson and I to present our love letters to the Dugongs and Manatees at the December Water Play.
Water Play is a monthly catch up and information share between past participants of Meeting of the Waters: Locative Media Oceania.
It is also fantastic to be a part of the Bribie Art Trail collective and look forward to getting to know this interesting cohort of artists. You can check out the trail at https://www.artistsofbribie.art/
What is ahead?
2023 is already looking full of creative explorations with a residency being planned for Yarun Bribie Island in November and some other projects along the way. I am thinking that I might save myself a lot of effort and commit to a monthly blog which I can easily compile at the end of the year 🙂
My goal this year is to move like the dugong, purposefully and gently ❤