Duke Albada 3 Duke Albada 3

Minnie Downs (Tambo)

Road-trip notes; a scale of sentimental values

Sandy tracks meander into shrubbery bush,
we head to mysterious destinations unknown.
A tree trunk rigidly salutes.

The sun-paled sky crowns iconic yellow grass fields,
beside lush green evidence of intense irrigation,
alternated by weary not-so-virgin stretches of ploughed red earth.
Worn tree speckled plateaus lie alongside smoking coal copies.

Parked cattle trucks shake,
sounding low "moos" and heavy hooves,
perfuming the air.

Red dusted car and lizzy blooded tires.
Mass fly suicides on my exoskeleton.
Crosses, rubber and roo corpses line the roads.
King wings soar above a murder feasting.

Sloth paced refuelling
10min parking spaces urge otherwise.
I zoom in and on

Duke Albada 2 TheGemfields Duke Albada 2 TheGemfields

Trip Blog 2 (by Duke Albada)

The Gemfields

Walking the dry creek bed without a shovel, bucket, or sieve means my fossicking experience in the gem fields is limited to observation and fantasy. But bedding down I find that the precious stones I was seeking are all suspended in my ceiling.  Though the star flooded sky completely annihilates any significance I may place on my person, it also excites myriad thoughts of possibilities and mysteries hidden in the "outer world".  I watch Mirrabooka* rising and find the emu in the Milky Way, though I confess I haven't learnt any of the local Yagalingu interpretations and names. 

Duke Albada Duke Albada

Trip Blog 1 (by Duke Albada)

1. Commencement

Isla Gorge National Park

Is it crazy to set off on a 5000km roundtrip not knowing exactly where it will take me or what specifically I will be filming for my upcoming video installation at Ballina Airport? I don't think so, as I trust that as my journey unfolds so will my insights regarding the content as well as the 'look and feel' of the imagery. My goal on the other hand is very clear; to investigate my connection to country in detail, and to keep a visual diary of this exploration. 

At the first campout in Isla National Park I admire the vast views over the gorge, but it is the combination of the flaming red sunset licking the burned tree stump that enthrals me and makes me grab my camera for the first time. A slow close-up fly-over reveals the pores, lumps and bumps of the bark telling the history of this piece of dead, but not useless wood. 

Fleur Yorston FloatingTheIslandsTowardsTheirParadise 540x360 Fleur Yorston FloatingTheIslandsTowardsTheirParadise 540x360

Visitors to the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport will receive a contemporary take on a traditional islander welcome this September and October with an oversized interpretation of a Hawaiian Lei, by artist Fleur Yorston, on display in Northern Rivers Community Gallery’s (NRCG) latest Art at the Airport showcase.

Paradise Found is inspired by the artists upbringing in multi-cultural, Polynesian New Zealand (Aotearoa) and her own personal migration to Australia in 2009. Yorston invites her audience to ask themselves “What is your Paradise Found...?”

In the show an iconic Australian symbol - the Surfboard becomes a metaphor for a canoe (Waka in NZ) that 'First Explorers' used to cross oceans in search of new lands and new paradises. Intentionally it is juxtaposed next to an oversized interpretation of a Hawaiian Lei, traditionally given as a welcoming adornment upon arrival to visitors.

A painting also features in the show called 'Floating The Islands towards their paradise'. Fluid and transparent islands become vessels, highlighting the fragility of ones journey and the unknown destination of a paradise.

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