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A great book should leave you with many experiences and slightly exhausted at the end.  You live several lives while reading it…….William Styron

They say all good things must come to an end, be it a love affair, a holiday or a book and today that happens.  I’m sitting here in the early morning contemplating packing everything up and traveling home again.  I got up this morning and looked out the window to find this mother kangaroo with her joey.  What a sight to see first thing in the morning.  It is a fitting end to what has been a delightful week.

Yesterday I was up bright and early again and just pottered around here doing bits and pieces.  At 10am, I went across to Susan’s studio to do some cane painting.  Susan Oxenham is an artist who has a visual impairment.  She describes painting as her soul and how do you give up doing what you love so much when you lose your sight? She didn’t.  She adapted.  That there my friends, is resilience.  Her soul needs to create so she found new ways of doing it.  One of these is cane painting.

It was a lot of fun.  The ever supportive Wanda, from Accessible Arts came along as well and we all chose a paint colour to work with.  Strapping a tube of paint to one of her visual aid canes, we allowed the paint to dribble out or helped it along by tapping it.  Then we used the end of the cane to spread it around.  It was a unique experience and one which people should try.  Susan is hoping to bring it around to a few places for people to have a go at it.  I suggested they do it blindfolded to truly give them the experience of how difficult it must be for someone with a visual impairment.  We take our senses for granted way too often and don’t often get the chance to put ourselves in another persons shoes.

From there, I took a few more photos and pottered around the studio a bit more.  I shot lots of textures which I use in my imagery.  There are lots you can download free of charge but it’s nice to have your own library to use and I’ve decided to build mine up so I only use my own in future.

Sundays at Bundanon Trust are open days and it’s well worth the visit.  I wandered up in the afternoon and strolled through the beautiful gardens with a sculpture at every turn.  Then inside through his home.  There is art on every wall and it’s so beautiful to see an artist leave such a huge part of his heart for the rest of us to share.

The house looks like he’s just stepped outside for a walk but will be back soon.  It’s warm and inviting.  The beautiful, shiny polished floorboards reflect all the rich, bright colours of the wall art and the lamps add to the golden ambience.  The art itself screams of the artist.  It feel deeply personal and I almost felt like an intruder, albeit a welcome one as the house is definitely welcoming.

The homestead and surrounding landscape is worth driving out here one Sunday.  Make a weekend of it and enjoy the beauty of Nowra while you’re here.  It’s well worth it.  Everywhere you look here, there is art.  It’s in the sculptures dotted randomly around the garden and the bushlands around it.  It’s on the walls of every building.  It’s the buildings themselves.  Bundanon is a work of art.

From the homestead I headed back out to the garden and over to Arthur Boyd’s studio and peered through the windows.  It is like he has just walked inside to have a cup of tea and left everything that he was working on there.  Again, a golden glow provided a warm and inviting backdrop to his works of art in there.  I feel like I know him a little just by having visited.

On the way back to my studio, I walked through the paddocks where kangaroos and wombats just keep grazing, raising their heads briefly to see if you are a threat and then ignoring you for their food.  It really is amazing to be so immersed in art and in nature.  What a great combination.

I can’t speak highly enough about my time here.  It’s been relaxing and invigorating at the same time.  It has made me want to be better at what I do and want to try my hand at new things.  I’m looking forward to getting home now as I have so many images that I need to edit.  I can’t wait to start on this chapter of From Fractured to Fairytale and then start planning the next part of the series.

To everyone at Accessible Arts, Bundanon Trust and my fellow artists in residence, thank you.  I will never take this experience for granted and I hope to return here to work again in the future.  It’s been a great time and I have loved every moment of it.  Now I have the odious task of trying to be a Tetris queen and pack the car so I can take all of this stuff back home again.

Happy Packing… Livvy xx