Before the thistly
beginnings of European settlement in Australia, this southern land was a
fanciful dream shared by geographical philosophers. What might have filled the
imagination of Captain James Cook before he planted the seeds of a new colony
on this mystery-laden continent?
A place of historical significance, but also
inspiration for artists such as Clifton Pugh, Fred Williams, John Olsen,
and Rick Amor, the 'black dam' in Barreenong Rd, Cottles Bridge has now filled my ink
pot. I visit this place regularly to find a feather lightness of being.
The black dam, Barreenong Rd. Cottles Bridge, Victoria
I was recently immersed in the book 'The Fatal
Shore' by Robert Hughes. With European settlement in Australia
beginning on the high seas, it guarantees the onset
of saltwater boils, scurvy and convict lashings as you turn each page.
To this day, immigration to Australia proves to be a shady and complex
issue. Whether people arrive as free settlers or flee from torture, we
can't deny that boats have brought so many life journeys to our
continent, and their stories have created the fabric of Australian
Here is a recent assignment for the Cordite Poetry Review where I was
required to interpret a contemporary Australian poem with graphics. I
chose 'His Quarter,' a beautiful poem by Kevin Pearson, from his book
'The Apparition at Large.' It can also be seen among a larger collection HERE.