I visited Victoria and Simon barely a week after they moved into their glorious new space overlooking Pipe Clay Lagoon. The spirit of the house, both as a function of place, and, as a consequence of my hosts’ incredible positive creative energy, is transformative. Gazing across the bay watching the light change over the course of the day I had the privilege to be part of the unpacking, the making of place, and the creation of a new nerve centre of collective creative action. Within the week they had worked towards a music gathering and were setting up the foundations for a place to go to for immersion and creative inspiration.
Watching Simon reclaim painting within that incredibly short time, and Victoria retrace their collective history over book making across England, Ireland, China and Melbourne gave me this tremendous energy to return to Melbourne and immerse myself in my own creative work.
Given that the space at 1450 offers places to work, muck about, make music, cook, be connected, as well as offering walks across the extensive bush property and along the beaches a short drive away, the capacity for creative output is enormous. I left with my head buzzing with ideas for books and illustrations – some of which are now in progress.
One can never really separate an experience from the people one shares it with. Simon and Victoria, besides being the most gracious and glorious hosts, have a creative generosity that is both moving and completely energizing. Coupled with Scarlet’s enduring spirit presence, and Georgia’s haunting voice filling the evening air, the conversations, on family, art and life made my brief stay utterly magical.
The setting is picturesque. Inviting you in. Inviting you to look differently.
I was needing a break and instead of that was caught up with projects at home and here. Caught up with needing to keep things moving. Having spent time with Barbara and Simon clarifying what he is doing, I was conscious of the need to continuously clarify what I am doing in order to prioritise and keep things moving. I see the context of the projects I am doing and their sequential impact, but I have to keep testing it.
Not able to get stillness within the stillness, I shift my focus.
Not how I would have planned it – but then how else do you get somewhere new?
Today I painted something in a new way – I don’t yet recognise the picture as mine. I have arrived somewhere new.
Eucalyptus pilularis, Blackbutt
When Simon and Vic started their new lives in Tasmania, I immediately made a plan to visit. I loved being there at the beginning of their new journey and to see their business All That We Are get off the ground. Their property is truly magnificent with amazing views of the water and the sky. By day, the expanse of water provides unlimited beauty to gaze upon, and by night the stars are dazzling with the Milky Way clearly visible. 1450 offers expansive beauty.
The best part of being there was that we had long periods of time to talk about our life passions. I really enjoyed problem solving, philosophising, remembering and critiquing. We shared lots of ideas. For that, I am always grateful, and the environment provides a rich place for big discussions.
I was delighted to visit Vic and Simon’s neighbour Ben Richardson of Ridgeline Pottery
while I was there. What an impressive studio and amazing practice. It was fun to connect the southernmost potters of Australia with their northern counterparts at the PigPen Pottery
on Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait. Hope they manage to get together.