Bimblebox – Artists and the Land – Alternative Political Energy

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My Studio @ Bimblebox in the golden soft light of late arvo (complete with hammock)

 

Carl Greg Michael Beth

 

Carl, Gregg, Michael and Beth work on getting something to work

Photo: Glenda Orr

 

 

Artists’ camps are a great tradition in Australia. The bush is revered by everyone here, and camping together on the land creates the opportunity to make art within nature and with other like-minded souls. I was lucky enough to spend time at the third Bimblebox artists’ camp in the company of 12 other artists and activists a couple weeks ago. Since then I’ve been wondering how the amazing sense of community and resulting energy sensitised to this special place can be used to further the fight to save the Bimblebox Nature Refuge, which is threatened by coal mining development.

I’m thinking about this: What if the art form at work here is the camp and the activity associated with, and created by it? Not limited to only artworks made by the artists during the camp… the whole shebang is a happening with outwardly rippling effects over time. There was a laid-back, yet intense cross-pollinization among all of us that included working the farm, cooking, repairing fences, filming a docko, painting, drawing… and even I rode Rooster the easy-going gelding to bring the bulls in from the paddock. Another highlight for me was John and Glenda’s (both trained as scientists) discussion of the chemical event aka photosynthesis in its most basic, known form of energy exchange by isotopes (I believe that’s almost correctly stated).

Think: a touch of sleeve – it’s like the butterfly effect – sometimes known as ‘networking’. But this is a particular kind of small scale gathering. One that can lead to bigger, unexpected outcomes — based on time spent together, influences, conversations, and unique works of art. I’m not making grand assertions here, as if Bimblebox artists’ camp is like the Burning Man Festival. But, you never know. And maybe if we enlarge our concept of what art is to include collaboration, yes, we need to allow events to be art that unfold(s) over time, with definite, unscripted goals. Well, it’s really food for thought. And documenting such activity could take many interesting and yet undiscovered forms and provide impact.

This 2014 camp started in this way: Many artists exchanged emails over a period of about two-three weeks with Jill Sampson (the Australian artist who inaugurated the Bimblebox Art Project and artists’ camps, and who has obviously thought a lot about these things), Paola Cassoni (who is an owner of Bimblebox, an amazing activist on its behalf and the fabulous camp cook during the artists’ stay), and Ian Hoch (another owner, who also runs the cattle station on Bimblebox) to decide who was able to attend, how and when they would arrive and to generally make plans. Prior to travelling at least 14 hours by car, there were many considerations: accident waivers to sign, lists of groceries to procure, difficult driving directions to understand, camping equipment to pack, for example. Because Bimblebox is really in the middle of nowhere, all must be carefully prepared. And we haven’t even spoken of all the preparations (carried out by Paola, Ian and Carl) necessary to support the artists and their needs during the camp.

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The road to Bimblebox

Photo: Pat Hoffie

I will be developing these ideas on future posts. All thoughts welcome. What follows below are photographs of the people and the place and related links. Next blog will include artworks and more thoughts.

(On an earlier blog at polycentrica, I posted a review of the excellent exhibition Bimblebox: art – science – nature (curated by Beth Jackson) that showcases artists’ work from camps run in 2012 and 2013. Bimblebox is currently touring Australia to raise awareness of this and other nature refuges in serious trouble.)

 

 

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The road to Bimblebox – Acland coal train

 

 

 

 

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The road to Bimblebox: Bottle trees

Photo: Pat Hoffie

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Carl Hoch (Bimblebox genius caretaker), me, John Davis (filmmaker)

 

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The Bimblebox Artist Camp – Beth Jackson (curator of Bimblebox touring exhibition) and Michael Foley (Artist) enjoy a tete a tete

 

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Pat’s truck and swag

Photo: Pat Hoffie

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Glenda Orr (Artist) and Michael Foley

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Paola Cassoni (Bimblebox activist, owner and incredible chef)

Photo: Pat Hoffie

 

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Heathland around the camp and solar panels for power

 

 

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Frida Forsberg (Artist), Paola, Glenda, Pat Hoffie (Artist)

 

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Frida working quietly in the end-of-day light

 

Pat & Carl drilling

Pat and Carl drilling bones

Photo: Glenda Orr

 

Frida painting closer up

Frida painting and drawing

Photo: Glenda Orr

Pat Frida Emma at camp

Pat, Frida and Emma Hamm (Artist)

 

Related links:

Paola’s website and blog: http://bimblebox.org/about/

Website for the exhibition Bimblebox – art- science – nature:

http://www.bimbleboxexhibition.com/

The documentary film on Bimblebox by Mike O’Connell:

http://bimbleboxdocumentary.com/

Bimblebox Art Project Blog by Jill Sampson, encompassing all aspects:

https://bimbleboxartproject.wordpress.com/category/bimblebox-art-project/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Bimblebox – Artists and the Land – Alternative Political Energy

  1. HI Carol,

    Nice one, what a thrill to hang out at Bimblebox. Been thinking about you lately, specifically to have a powwow about the potential philanthropic seduction of Jesse’s godparents. Let me know when we can get together.

    Oh and if you haven’t go over to the UQ Art Museum and check out Lindy Lee’s exhibit.

    Love ya, Lisa Behan http://www.echothatemotion.com http://www.lisabehan.com

    • hi lisa –

      yes have been thinking about you too! so great to hear from you! thanks for the props – am travelling to the states this week until mid-november. will be in touc when i return. xc

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