Leahlani Johnson

Entry #3

29.02.2016

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"As though like a piece of crisp elastic, visiting a new place seems to extend you. There is an inflation of new ideas, and sensitivity to your surrounds and upon leaving you feel as though you are able to encompass so much more than you could before. I feel that way as I prepare to leave Bogong Village, an area I’ve never been to before. A space resting on the hinge of the weather to determine what takes place inside of it. A small bundle of huts nestled in amongst silhouettes of towering mountain frames. A meeting place of several streams gushing into a larger, still pool. It’s a home for water. And where there is water there is life.

Fresh air, high altitude and new heights to see from. The symbolism inherent in a landscape became apparent staying in Bogong Village. There is an extreme sense of elevation, as you are seated lowly in the village looking out to the looming mountains surrounding you. Contemplating the mountains also generated a feeling of isolation for me, not in a negative sense but as if the mountains (and the 10 hour drive down as well probably) separated me from aspects of time I am familiar with. I did not have to complete something by a set time or be somewhere or be someone even. This sense of no time must of affected the artists in residence too as sometimes through muffled sleep I could hear them cooking dinner at 4 am.

Time has been a feature of the work I have started to make here. Collecting and then pulling petals from a yellow paper daisy flower takes time, a long time. The pattern that is generated as the petals overlap forms a type of time coding, marking specific moments, hours and days. The flower petals then soon wither, alter shape and texture as they follow their own trajectory through life and I must let them go.

Letting go is what I did when I left Bogong to drive back home, leaving gaps behind and a lasting question, how would I complete what I have started here? Returning on a longer unfamiliar 2 day route back to Sydney I drove through steep and dry ranges, I lived off an eclectic range of food I had cleared earlier from the residency fridge and climbed the summit of Mt Kosciuszko in the heat of the summer sun. I brought with me my 2013 Art Month bag on the climb, for some reason that seemed like a good idea. And while I was up there, on the highest point of Australia, everything seemed to be in reverse - I felt that if I could reach here everything else from now on won't seem so hard and even though everything looked distant, I never felt so close."


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