I have these dreams that have been annoying the Hell into me for years now, drumming their fingernails on my conversations, poking me in the ribs when my focus wanes, sitting with elbows and knees askew in my belly, causing as much discomfit as possible, pushing and BURSTING to be born.....
Like a kid and adult sized playground for the inner and outer child
Imagine a play space with nets to hang out in, a life size rocking horse, made out of wood and wool and wrapping yarn, a big bell jar swing hanging from a tree that's big enough to sit crosslegged in, maybe a big eagle on a chain between trees to swing in!
With play pieces made from bamboo and palm leaf woven shapes, that kids and adults can use and assemble into a myriad of different ways, to create all different sorts of structures. Not plastic and pretend, but real things and sacred play. To read more about 'risky play' and its importance in our evolutionary learning, click on the picture below....
Playgrounds begin to focus on riskier play, by Jason Osler, CBC news, March 30 2016
An interactive outdoor fibre and sculpture walk, with a festival once a year to add to it, maintain it, and walk it, with acoustic musicians placed along the way
If you haven't seen this short film 'The Gnomist' yet, please take a moment to treat yourself, with an incredible expression of self organised creativity. To read more about the story go here.
I see a combination of the walk above, with a 'Felt in Nature' like concept, inspired by Brigitte Krag Hansens group artworks shown here,
All culminating into something like the biggest inspiration for this whole concept, which was the Bundaleer Festival, an outdoor classical music festival that unfortunately is no longer, but planted a seed in us that has never been forgotten.
Evette Sunset has a permanent Mandala Garden in the Bundaleer State Forest where this Festival was, and when we went in 2009, her garden was in full bloom. She specialises in using found objects from around where she sculpts her nature art, in stunning displays of earthy materials.
There was a labyrinth crafted by a Druidess, with clay crones coming off trees, and the local kids had made fairy homes and people out of wood, material and wool, and they were planted beautifully in a dry creek bed. There were massive wood frames, with chicken wire nailed to it, and native grasses woven through. And all along the magical walk, were classical musicians playing gorgeous music.
Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the festival that I can find anymore, but these pictures are sculptures by Evette Sunset, which give a similar feel
And last but certainly not least.....a Centre or Museum for Birth, Sex, and Death,
that is also a Centre for Fibre Exploration and Sustainability
Maybe something a little bit like the Mona museum created by David Walsh in Hobart, but a bit less flash, where the inextricable links between birth, sex and death are explored, expressed and celebrated.
If this was to happen in Nimbin for example, where there are two beautiful groups, Nimbin Birth and Beyond, that's been operating since the 70's, and Nimbin Death and Beyond as well......me and Currawong could almost be Sex and Beyond on our own (!)......, I reckon it could really work.
There are so many unique and diverse artisans, crafters, and espressive artists of all sorts in these hills, that we could easily fill a museum. Not to mention provide space for fibre exploration, and the expansion of it's sustainable production.
All sorts of different community stake holders turn up to the Town Hall for a Sustainability Forum every year, where they take away all the different areas like transport, housing, education, arts, health, education etc, and brainstorm ways to improve it. Last year it was decided to expand Food Security, into Food and Farm Produce - e.g. fibre - security.
I've been dreaming these dreams, and looking for somewhere to do them, for over a decade now.......and the winner (if it wants) is......NIMBIN!!
Nimbin is one of the most internationally well known towns in Australia, home of the Aquarius Festival in 1973, and since then, the home of the community movement, hemp legalisation, and alternative and sustainable lifestyles.
It also happens to be the town where we help facilitate the monthly Town Market.
Out of towners and tourists come to Nimbin and see drug culture, but through living here I’ve witnessed so very much more.
The signs coming into Nimbin say it’s the home of the Aquarius Festival, and some of us think we should add a few more homes to Nimbin. Like home of sustainability, home of environmental protectors, home of alternative lifestyles, home of the greatest community living experiment in Australia’s white history, home of forest protesting and blockading, home of diversity and sovereignty, home of healing cannabis oil and hemp education, and home of the Aquarius Festival ongoing in many different directions, as conscious creations by passionate humans dedicated to trying to do things better.
It’s also the only town in the whole of Australia where I’ve been, (which is a lot of it), where Original Australians are treated with respect. In fact where everybody is treated with respect, unless they choose for it to be otherwise. And it’s the home of the only free pool in Australia, as well as the best skate park and most welcoming Bowling Club.
What better place to create the best playground and sculptural fibre walk than here?
One of Nimbins biggest icons, the Museum, burnt down two years ago, and town hasn't been quite the same since. Having a space that was dedicated to art and an alternative world vision was a huge part of Nimbins collective soul and esteem.
There are plans to rebuild, and I believe that drawing on our Commmunity Capacity Building Skills and our lovely network of local connections, combined with all these ideas that I've shared above, we could really give a gift to ourselves and our town.
With lots of history, memorabillia, and community consultation along the way, to increase bonding and our collective protection and enjoyment of an amazing interactive outdoor art endeavour.
And hopefully some assistance in grant writing and funding :)
On a more personal note, in order to be able to chase all these dreams,
we need a safe home and sanctuary near Nimbin.....
We've been dreaming and planning and observing and learning for years, Currawong and I, wondering what it would be like to be sovereign and welcome on a part of the land that sings with us and our mob, and have a sanctuary, where we can build all the dreams of home that we've been dreaming over the years.
Which would also handily go a very long way to healing a very traumatic part of ourselves, that is triggered off with our combined PTSD's, every time we have to move on......
And space to create and let our family grow free, unobserved, unheard, and able to explore a zillion different ways to create garden surrounds, animal enclosures, outdoor art, clothes storage, swings, play creations, water courses, swimming holes, structures to live in, tents, treehouses, gatherings, festivals, sculpture parks, mobile homes, and alternative ways of being that have been discussed by Currawong and I, on our long hours driving, or in the moments we can snatch between cleaning up and children's needs.
We know from past experience, that even with the best of intentions, we need to live on a place that is freehold, and for our healing it can't be with friends or on a community. Having the amenities that most people expect in a first world is also an essential aspect of safety for us.
The first Human Animal Wildlife Sanctuary perhaps, or at least a prototype of it. I imagine that there are quite a few different ways we could do this. My favourite fantasy is that a philanthropist with lots of moolah buys us a home and acts as the vendor in a vendor finance situation, so we can move in and pay them off as rent, while we finally have a safe home. Maybe said philanthropist would also like to support some of the ideas up above as well.
Or I could set up a crowdfunding project for a deposit to buy our own farm, offering my books, organic hand spun and woven blankets, pre paid workshops, or copies of just about anything I've made. With an option to just donate and sponsor an idea I have, like hand spinning a three dimensional labyrinth......
Or a local could offer their farm as a vendor in vendor finance, or on a very long term lease, where we could work in return for part of the rent. I haven't gone much into Currawong's skills here, but it's worth mentioning that Currawong could grow a flourishing market garden, and turn his hand to just about any practical or mechanical thing. Maybe a local farmer could subdivide off part of his land, and let us live there and pay it off in return for rent and a bit of help around the place as well.
With a permanent studio that is pest and weather safe, where I can fulfill another dream, and have a permanent installation of a tree against a wall, a bit like the Faraway Tree. And fill it with creatures and furnitures and clothings and wierd and wonderful creations that just come out.
To have a space where I can finally unpack and unfurl all my photos and memories and instruments, and let them all magically weave together into multi dimensional yarns.
With some trees to adorn and a creek.....
What do you think?