Friday, July 07, 2006


Mayhem, vet nurse and journalist, cares for the animals and plots the next excursion from the wilds of North Perth/Highgate. Meanwhile Art Director is in Blackstone, between Warburton and the SA border. In the deserts of Central Australia, yua, yua (yes). Learning some Ngaanyatjarra. He can, at least, spell it now without checking.

Art Director is driven down a back track with Linda of Kent, Erin of Papulankutja and her friend Dimity of Sydney. Plus two dogs and supplies. He is stashed in a cubbyhole behind the seats atop a swag. Art director is driven around 400km from the unmarked red dust track turnoff near Kata Tjuta (The Olgas - most likely named after two Swedish backpackers). Art Director falls asleep under a blanket of dogs for the last half of the trip. He has a signed permit to travel these aboriginal lands, populated also by camel, dingo and spinifex.

He makes paper from spinifex and prints digital images onto it. Plays football with the Yarnangu kids. Very funny. He falls down too much.
Chase me, they say. Why can't you run? they ask, as he runs as hard as he can.
Me old man, he says. Yua, yua, they laugh.

Art Director's Vision Quest is commenced. He has extremely vivid dreams on arrival in Blackstone, or Papulankutja.
Oh, didn't I warn you about dreams in Papulankutja? says Erin in the morning. Very violent, vivid and realistic.
No shit. Overnight, someone has tried to kill art director with half a brick.
Can you interpret dreams? he asks.
So so.
He gives her a brief precis of the dream, minus the naked bits.
Were you running away.
Of course. (He thinks perhaps it means he needs to learn more self-defence.)
It means you are running away from part of yourself, says Erin.

He shares a small building, the old clinic, with Erin and Dimity. He has the Art room there, and is free to play and write his journal. He is cheffing it up for them, and for his one meal a day. It's bizarre how Art Director can go somewhere (like the 2006 Alice Springs Beanie Festival for Yarn magazine) with an idea in mind (like a VISION QUEST) and then the idea just comes to fruition of it's own accord. He's out in the desert, paring down to fast (not completely yet, but this is the desert). The wide red steel-meshed door opens to a broad landscape, sunshine, and the odd dingo foraging for food. Erin, Dimity and Art Director drink coffee at the Morning University of Blackstone, the front verandah of the old clinic. Discuss ideas, throw about some etymological histories.

Art Director is off on a walk with the Papulankutja artists tomorrow. They're walking 70 odd km to somewhere or other to celebrate the 25th anniversary of something or other. That's why the 50 roo tails and 800kg of supplies day were brought in with Art Director the day before yesterday. He's been asked to photographically document the event. Art Director has a Standard Freelance Journalist Contract on the flash card of his Nikon, which travels with him wherever he goes, ready to print. What a genius.

And today there are these two amazing, intelligent and capable females, Dimity and Erin, who are taking him out at sunset to Singing Rock to help him in his Vision Quest. They're going to perform some kind of ceremony...(?) Art Director does not know what to expect.