Sunday, June 23, 2013

Going bush.

After 6 months of preparation we travelled to Laura for 4 days of dust, dirt, and dancing with 20 odd children, and some some Elders and an audience of thousands. Now it's all over I have 4 months of solid exhibition schedule before maternity leave begins. Time's ticking.

I'm exhausted. I'm heading bush... further north to totally ground myself for two weeks in the Cape York wilderness. There's no better remedy. I can't wait to go to sleep in our tent to the sound of the waves. In a few more days my feet will feel the sand of my favourite beach in Australia. I'll be back a bit later with stories from my adventure. 


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013." 

Not so much a portrait, but more a moment that deserves to be captured forever. As Elders age and children grow up, this moment bought tears to my eyes. My beautiful Ba'il boy spending early mornings with his Lockhart River family at the Laura Dance Festival. Clapsticks and all, your quite at home among these beautiful souls. 

Playing along with the loveliest Jodi. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013." 

Playing with presents from a visiting Panni. Spoilt boy. A solar powered helicopter that you carefully crafted with your Papa. 

Playing along with the lovely Che & Fidel. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

River Dreaming - Beauty in the small things

 This week completely escaped me. Exhausted from another dash of looming working deadlines and solo parenting I find myself dreaming of the slower years we have ahead of ourselves on our River Nest. Since my Caleb arrived home Friday evening, my pace has thankfully slowed. I could literally dream my weekend away. Pot belly stoves, clean clutter kitchens, outdoor dinner parties, and beautiful outdoor spaces to laze around in, are my inspiration for my river dreams this weekend. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, for 2013." 

Absolutely in awe, hanging out of the helicopter that has no doors. You will speak of your helicopter adventure for another 12 months, just as you did last year. My budding helicopter pilot. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sweet rituals

Without fail every afternoon he stops at the garden in the daycare car park and picks three little red flowers - one for mummy, one for daddy and one for Ba'il. Our cars are adorned with little piles of dried red, orange and yellow flowers. Sometimes he will take them into our home and carefully put them around our buddhas. This little ritual was something he initiated all by himself well and truly over a year ago, and has practiced without fail ever since. 

Even on the busiest or latest of afternoons I try not to hurry him. For I know that he will pause at the garden bed, carefully choose his flowers like he is making a sacred offering, and then place them in my hand as he climbs in the car. It's a ritual I deem too precious to disturb, for who knows when it will end. 

Today his afternoon flower picking ritual got a whole lot sweeter. As he handed me his flowers, I asked him why he had four and he replied - 
"one for mummy, one for daddy, one for Ba'il, and one for the baby in mummy's belly." 

It was then I asked Ba'il to stay exactly where he was and ran to the car for my camera. I needed to capture this moment. I think he was proud that I took his photo. I swear the other parents thought I was insane. He's only picking some flowers right?

Bless you my beautiful Ba'il boy, you truly are the sweetest. x 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


This time of year in community is busy season. During the month of June everything awakens from it's tropical wet season slumber.

We are preparing for exhibitions, cultural performances and big traditional dance festivals. The artists are painting, the dancers are dancing, the weavers are weaving and the Elders are creating traditional costumes. The village horses have picked up their pace and gallop the streets instead of taking shelter under the mango trees from the rain.

I, as an art centre manager am managing what feels like endless projects, funding submissions, end of year reports, audits, exhibition schedules and staff mentoring - and home duties too. The birth of our wee one has never felt so far away considering how much work I need to complete before I can safely say I'm on maternity leave. In reality we will be holding our babe in a matter of months. I feel as though I'm running out of days in the week, hours in the day, seconds in the hour. 

To survive this season I will chant my daily chants, try to find time to stretch through yoga and go to sleep with a guided mediation playing through my headphones. Visits from my parents and my mother-in-law who will travel hundreds of kilometres with fresh vegetables and simple luxuries we can't find up here (such as new hair brushes and organic butter) will also ensure I maintain my sanity. They will lighten our load for a few days and take care of Ba'il. I'm also looking forward to a week of Cape York adventures after the Laura Festival. A small break from routine while I have the chance. 

I'm wondering, is everyone else feeling the mid year burn? And if you are, what are your ways of surviving it? 

Sunday, June 2, 2013


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013." 

His 'Aboriginal Art' painting. A quiet weekend at home getting creative. 
I can't believe 22 weeks have passed already... unbelievable. 

Playing along with the lovely Jodi at Che & Fidel. x 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A day in the life of...

My husband Caleb has possibly one of the best jobs ever.  Often on a Sunday evening his swag, his backpack and his cameras are all packed up by our front door ready for the start of a new week. Come Monday he drives two or so hours north on a dirt road into Rinyirru National Park. He will work out there in the wilderness all week mapping invasive weeds, riding in helicopters, getting bogged on a quad, getting stung by wasps, and pulling off enormous leeches from all over his body - all in the name of conservation. 

There's no mobile phone reception this far north. A precious quick phone call from the ranger base landline makes my day and reminds Ba'il that his papa isn't too far away. He tells me stories of his adventures and I try to block out the thought of him trudging through crocodile infested lagoons waist high in water lilies. My heart sings to know he is in his element, even though the regular distance is sometimes an incredible challenge. I'm learning to balance full time work and full time mothering cross house duties rather well.

On his return home he bears us gifts of feathers, leaves, stones, dried lotus pods or whatever he collects along his way. We celebrate his homecoming with homemade pizzas, a family movie night, cuddles on the couch and popcorn. He tells Ba'il bed time stories of his helicopter adventures and of all the different animals he saw. I sleep well that night knowing he is next to me. 

His photos remind me of how lucky we are to be surrounded by this Cape York beauty. He cares for country alongside Indigenous rangers and I work with Indigenous artists to tell the stories of their country. 

*Photos by Caleb Zaicz from his recent adventure to Rinyirru National Park.