Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Queen of the Clouts

It was a rather grand plan to build a veranda and a bathroom onto the northern end of my shack. Perhaps I could have achieved it. I have no idea, because the morning after I arrived the generator shat itself. It wouldn't start the next day either, or the next. It's no fun, starting the day to be beaten by a mere generator. So, in the absence of power tools, I decided to play with nails and a hammer.



Then I started on the walls ...





I suspect that the township of Kundip was constructed entirely of old kerosene tins and beer because its detritus is scattered everywhere. I started gathering bits of tin on my morning walks and nailed them into the walls in the evenings. The resident pygmy possum left in disgust. The resident snake ignored me. My left thumb was burst, is still quite flattened.
Despite the pain and shambolic nature, I'm a bit proud of this work. The feel of a nail going true through galvanised steel, the steady aesthetic of working square sides against round ... you could rip this wall away and put it in an art gallery in the city but it would never hold the power or context of walking into my shack and seeing a whole wall of Kundip kerosene tin lives played out with rusty galvanised iron and clouts.

16 comments:

  1. That's really nice, Sarah. What you Ozzies can do with a few old tin cans is amazing. (I really like it, btw!)

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  2. I thought you'd like this Tom. Thanks.

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  3. Love it - what stories could those bits of iron tell???

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    1. That's what I love about them Janine. They also have pre-drilled holes. In some of the old camps, all that is left is a brick hearth and a hole where they were digging for gold. I imagine they were bashing nails into tin all night and then digging all day.

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  4. As good as an art piece. Now who does it remind me of? Leonard French maybe? Or a bit of Ian Fairweather. I love the fix it with whatever you have at hand way of making things. My next turkey weather vane is an old wodden spoon and western red cedar timber blind slats. Nothing as good as this though.

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    1. Yes, Fairweather, now you say it. Good luck with your latest turkey Mr Hat!

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  5. That is bloody awesome Sarah. If one of my students produced that I'd give them an A.

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  6. Continuing to shape the world around you according to your own sense of time, place and place within that place. It's really hard not to feel inspired by your work..

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  7. Thanks Ciaran ... I think maybe if we don't at least try to shape our worlds then we are merely subjected to it. Maybe that is not a bad thing. Dunno. :~)

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  8. A good thing. And if you can't shape it then leave something behind that at least acknowledges your presence. You're doing that too... (hurricanes permitting) :-)

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  9. Bushfires bother me more.
    Having recently seen my sister's place go up is a constant reminder of how transient and flammable we are.

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