Elise Bonato
Entry #3


Despite the remoteness, a distinct lack of boisterous city chaos, the environment here has the capacity to be wild. Unruly. Tempestuous.

Nature is the original Chaos.

The weather and land are unpredictable in a beatific symphony. Blink and find the sky changed. Walk the same path another day and discover it obscured by rock or rainfall. There is no taming this, by nature, in nature. Adapt, be fluid and ever present. Swell with the change.

Intimate details becomes familiar, with time. The sway of ancient eucalyptus trees in the morning light, the chorus of local frogs at twilight, resident birdlife taking their feed in a theatrical cacophony, the steady presence of starlight against indigo pitch at midnight.
The rush of the river, the glimmer of quartz, the scent of damp earth.

Practising stillness here is an easy feat, unlike within city densities. One may arrive here to discover the truth of oneself, when in reality, it becomes a process of relenting and releasing any/ every aspect of self.

The waters of Lake Guy fluctuate rather regularly. They rise and retreat, licking the shore or retracting to reveal a marsh of slate and weed. Thistle and prickled grass are bountiful, strewn with humble violet and golden wildflowers. Setting out to film in amongst it all, with the lake as my background, I was surprised to discover the levels had receded so much that the central island was accessible. By foot, I trekked through the mud and pulled myself to the peak of the human- made mound; my equipment in one arm and the other gripping at the rock as I ascended.

Mount Bogong and the alpine horizon now featuring as the background, I composed the frame as best as possible with a tripod operating on slanted ground. Breathing the vapours directly off of the lake, the sun beating down to warm the black cloaking me entirely, I felt dizzy with joy. The audience of onlookers that accumulated throughout the shoot, passing by as they walked the lake perimeter, could not distract me while in my elevated state.

As the snow is quelled by the steadily warming spring sun, stretches of the alpine landscape become lush, welcoming arches of terrain. Cyclists, hikers — artists — seek out the tire-worn/foot- tread paths to regard Her intumescence and the handsome firmament that presses upon its length. It was a blessing to return to Falls Creek and experience the soft majesty of its landscape.

By a great margin, its visage had shifted dramatically since pursuing these skies earlier in the week. At that time, the sphere above was clear with the exception of a veil of cloud that danced tantalisingly across the dauntless full moon; heavy and bright beyond all imagining. Now instead, the stratosphere seemed to effortlessly bear the pressure of a tapestry of cirrus cloud so dense it blotted the sun’s harsh gaze.

Walking leisurely along a track still guttered with snow — now ice — the wind, which one would presume to play furiously at this altitude, remained shy and still. Eucalyptus gums stripped white by product of the 2003 bushfires in this area, govern the land in all their haunting splendour. Although their exterior has been rendered pale, they are definitively vibrant in the afternoon light and feature proudly in numerous frames of my film. Chasing towards the sun, I sought to capture as much content as possible while the light still favoured it.

At 1650 metres above sea level, where crisp moss dapples along the arms of ancient snow gums and Wallace’s Hut rests, dignified with history not long past, I made forth beyond and upwards. A meadow of wildflowers with eucalyptus abundant, boughs bleached white by blaze and snow. And granite, bold and pulsing with quartz deposits so large that as I pressed my hands to the sharp protrusions, I became faint with the intense energy.

Scouting, filming, performing on site... Activating myself, the landscape — within, without — through this process is a significant part of the work. It is my studio, in truth. It is here that my intent (and Others’, etc.) catalyses and informs the product that I carry to term. Internal and external elements manifest into Be-ing(s) that beckons the dreaming, the storm. I toil and bend and force myself still to be as the Earth is. And not. To transmute and cradle and deliver with multidimensional sensory experience that which I feel when with/in the land. I will labour and render myself unto the haunting beauty, endure and transform to material/immaterial for the viewer to know themselves.

As I stand upon the quartz and granite, the shivering grasses, the fractured soil, the forsaken tunnels and the sun below and above, my hand lifts to the dying light. Whispering of otherness, chanting longing, I have found freedom.