Leahlani Johnson

(25.02.2016)

The last few days seemed to of lasted only briefly. A hike at sunset on Sunday to Wallace’s hut is where I first saw amber coloured alpine everlasting daisies flowering in the wild, in shin-high clusters. The moon was rising on our return walk from the hut, leaving us enough light to linger and witness the colours of the valley swell and then dissolve. In the car park we met up with Phillip and Isabelle again, friends we had made a day before and they kindly offered us a warm cup of tea. Standing outside their sweet white and blue lined caravan they asked us what we did as artists and I thought about what a strange mysterious thing it must seem to be an artist.

On Monday I gave a talk about my art practice to a year 12 class at a local High School. I showed them images of past installation work with ephemeral elements that eventually dispersed and disappeared. They asked me how important writing was in relation to my art. Days later I am still wondering what a good answer might be. Afterwards we went to buy groceries and I saw several students I recognised from the talk working in different sections at the supermarket. After we made our purchase they let us stand by the ice cream freezer, outside the shop, and awkwardly store our perishable items inside it as we waited for our ride on that very hot day.

Madelynne, Matthew and I planned an overnight trek to Tawonga Huts on the Tuesday. Bring sleeping bag, mat, warm clothes, just enough food and water as not to weigh down our packs too much, first-aid kit, matches, billy and cups. It was a even walk 2 km uphill and another 2km down hill through open alpine fields. Arriving at the campsite as it was growing dark, I could work out silhouettes of snow gums, corrugated structures, half collapsed fences and a sharply rising hillside to the right on which the moon gently sat. In the morning I collected water from the nearby stream, lay on the soft grasses looking up and helped to make fresh eucalyptus tea. At breakfast I sat close by the campfire, noticing the effects of the smoke as it created a layer of haze over the landscape before turning, dispelling and then returning again. The smoke seemed to hold a temporary form like much of my artwork, a substance that smoldered, blanketed, choked and cracked before silently sliding away.