Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wilpena Pound Trek

One of the most breathtaking hikes I have been on would most definitely have to be the trek to St Mary's Peak in Wilpena Pound. 14.4km of jagged and unforgiving terrain, scaled with an inflamed tibia is not a fond way to remember such a stunning landscape, yet somehow the day is something I'm rather fond of in hindsight. The near vertical climb is something I could not have done without Tom shoving my ass up the mountainside, even in the searing heat of a fair 38°. However, I did learn three very simple things whilst up there.

1# Always bring enough water
Or you'll end up drinking your partner's 2L bottles, leaving both of you thirsty.
2# Eat breakfast at base camp, and bring lunch
Leading theory as to why I collapsed on the way up, and if you refuse to do this, it will not only leave you trying to steal your partner's water, but also their lunch.
3# Dress for all weather
Let's face it, this is Australia. You may fry on the way up, freeze while you're up there and come out semi sunburnt and soaked in sweat by the end of the day. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ceramics: Slip Club

My school's sister school is in Spain. Every Wednesday, after school, we hold something called 'Slip Club'. We take pre-cast ceramic bowls, and paint them, then sell them for $2 - $5 at the Art Night at the end of the year, and donate all money collected to the school. We have around 10 - 20 students from years 7 - 12, who work exceptionally hard to produce pieces worthy of selling. Slip Club has kicked up again this year, and these are some personal past and in-the-making pieces, yet to be fired in the kiln.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Alttius: The Artwork

Alltius: (Finnish translation) exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

Alttius began as a nameless canvas lying in a box in T7. No sooner than it had been delivered, my hands were on it, my name scrawled carelessly on the underside of the white fabric. I didn't hesitate to start painting the stormy background, or the golden wheat, nor did I flinch when I painted the base of the hawk and girl.

I soon meticulously started to paint the outstretched wings and individual feathers, applying a pattern similar to that of a European Goshawk. After a somewhat debate of wether the wings were even, and a quick installation of the talons and beak, I decided to outline every last detail with a black paint marker, as I had decided the painting was beyond restoration and wouldn't suffer with a bit of experimentation. The 'Facebook like' and 'Instagram heart' soon sprouted from within the depths of the raptors throat to reveal a hideous creature beyond description, which was apparently pretty 'cool'. So I kept it.

After weeks of being AWOL (refer back to Central Australia Recap), I decided to take the paintbrush back to the canvas, and yet again, created another hideous creature in front of the somewhat munting bird.

I present to you, The Nameless Troll Whose Anatomy Is Terribly Out-Of-Whack. I've never been strong when it comes to painting humans, yet this faceless humanoid may haunt my nightmares until I finish her.

This painting is most definitely still under construction.

The interpretation behind this artwork for me, at least, holds an extremely symbolic meaning. Earlier on in the year I explained to my councillor the feeling of 'being a rabbit in a field of hawks', and as we explored the idea of vulnerability, he told me that hawks and rabbits play a key role in the symbolism of the Native American culture. Rabbits, he said, are the symbol of vulnerability and thus the hawk would be enforcing this image once the food-chain is taken into consideration. Grass photosynthesizes and grows, rabbit eats grass, hawk eats rabbit and so on. The idea of the social media icons (and the girl on her phone which cannot yet be seen properly) portrays the pressure we feel from the internet, the constant images of people we feel we are less worthy of, or should measure up to, the expectations and the online criticism we receive, which leads to self-criticism and ultimately, self-loathing. We are constantly feeling vulnerable on the internet, and this can sometimes leave us exposed and self conscious. I feel this painting demonstrates this concept in a somewhat unusual way but at the same time portrays a strong and important message. Hopefully this notion does not make the painting seem 'dark' but rather conveys an idea that society should take into consideration and study more carefully. More and more teenagers and young adults are being harmed by the use of online media, yet this is often overlooked. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Blue Lagoon

"The director 'Grease' Randal Kleiser, brings to the screen a sensual story of love. Two children, shipwrecked alone on a tropical island. They thrive on the bounty of the jungle and lagoon. The boy grows tall. The girl beautiful. When their love happens, it is as natural as the sea, and as powerful."

"There's so many things I don't understand, like why do the fish stop swimming and lie on top of the
tide pools after a heavy rain? Why do you hear the waves inside the big shells? Why are all these
funny hairs growing on me? I wish a big book with all the answers to every question in the world would drop out of the sky and land in my hands right now. I'd read it till I knew everything"
"Oh Richard, you can't know everything. Only God knows everything"
"God - he can't find us any better than Santa Claus"

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Central Australia Recap

13 Days - Renmark, Wilpena Pound, Bushcamp, Alice Springs, Kings Creek Station, Yulara, Adelaide.
Possibly one of the most memorable and breathtaking taking journeys I may ever have. Not only was I blessed with a demon of a boy, but the bond between friends that was strengthened has made me a happier person. I could never forget the moments shared. NT & SA you served us well - till we meet again.