Desert Blog, May 12, 2014

Prep Day for Blackstone Festival Beading ... a melting pot of colour in desert country

Lightning flashes, creatures on the thunderclouds and purple haze pattern our horizon tonight - all at distance in the massive north-west sky.
We've been making frames and sorting beads of all shapes and sizes into colour palettes today. We start threading them on string and fishing line strung across the frames ... Four days of young women, playing and experimenting and trying new approaches lie ahead. The colours match the hues of the surrounding country and ask to be brought together in play.
And after lunch each day the kids will come and play in merry chaos with long sticks of glass colour to create more beads over hot flames, and hair ties and necklaces and bracelets will abound. This afternoon we sawed a huge pack of colour pencils in halves and the tiny shavings evolved from yellows, to orange, red, purple, blue as we worked. The tables inside are set with a myriad of tiny pots of bright paint, brushes cleanly awaiting saturation tomorrow. T-shirts will receive great blobs of shining liquid colour, squeegee pull and pattern print.
The whole township of Blackstone went over to Jamieson for the funeral of one of the senior elder artists today. Her paintings always alive with these very colours we play with in homage to her country. The quiet and stillness giving our preparation day for the Festival a feeling of calm, gathering the resources for the oncoming celebration of making.
The girls slipped into the flow on their return and tonight the vast space above played dancing colour and light behind the distant storm... one wonders who was painting the sky tonight. We will follow the lead with the beads and see where it brings us by week's end...whoosh it's like diving into lush green desert grasses and taking a bath in purple...


May 12, 2014

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