The Desert Sonnet Series had its beginnings in a journey across Australia’s remote Tanami Desert.
While ‘Desert’ sounds like a harsh and unforgiving place, it’s surprising what she opens up and gives a home to – life that seems absent at first glance but is pulsing through everything. Employing layering techniques, scratched, stencilled and painted symbols, I’ve attempted to recreate the sensation of the things we sense, but cannot see; and to capture the calm softness which is unexpected in a harsh landscape.
This sonnet, written as I travelled through the desert, was the initial spark for this body of work:
Like long forgotten headstones, anthills stand,
Shoulder to shoulder, far as I can see,
They witness many tracks made in the sand,
By seekers in the quest of feeling free.
The wind, whispering through the desert oaks,
To quiet contemplation beckons I,
Ideas I may have wisdom are just jokes.
I’m feeling small under this vast blue sky.
The wattle, blooming, waves her golden limbs.
A tiny bird hunts insects for her chick.
A stillness falls as this day’s end begins,
And slowly stars, the night sky, start to prick.
But freedom doesn’t come without a cost,
To hunt for wisdom, first we must get lost.