VV Week 3- The Sacred in The Australian Landscape

We had a very rich discussion yesterday on the changing relationship to the Australian landscape and the ways in which artist and writers gradually discovered the sacred in the landscape. The early colonists, we saw, brought with them a whole lot of “baggage” from the old world. They could only appreciate what was conventionally beautiful. The weird, “formless” beauty of Australia left many of them cold… they either wanted to rush back to their English green fields or they wanted to pretend that Australia was an extension to the British park-lands…. but along comes Marcus Clarke (author of “For the Term of His Natural Life”) who has this amazing prediction that “the Poet of our desolation” … some future poet or artist who happens to spend some time IN the lonely landscape of Australia will come to see and understand the subtle beauty of this landscape of “monstrosities”… he will come to recognize and appreciate the “phantasmagoria”… so Marcus Clarke really was predicting the arrival of the Judith Wrights, the Russell Drysdales, the Sidney Nolans, the Francis Webbs, the Fred Williams(es)…. who really did find a way of showing us the deeper, magical, mystical side of the Australian landscape… and in so doing they helped to open up OUR mystical, magical side… which of course is what so many writers and artists are in fact doing for us… So poetry, art becomes a means for softening our hard, unappreciative outer shell and deepening our responsivenss to the other.. to what is out there beyond our tight little egos… so thank you poets, artists… and thank you Vincentians for creating such an electric, life-giving discussion yesterday… and we were so sorry that Anissa couldn’t make it (because she is in hospital)- please get better soon Anissa!!!! And we were so sorry that Cindy couldn’t make it because of ill health… please get better Cindy… we need your great ideas!!!!!… And if Victoria is listening… we would really welcome you back in the class as well… it is never too late to begin!!!!
& here is a mug shot of some of us during our 3pm brain-break… thank you Amanda and Carly… for your great contribution yesterday… preparing a piece for the uni journal. we look forward to seeing the outcome.

And who are these handsome people???? In the back row: Michael E, Luke E (from ACU research), John VG. In front of them: yours truly, George S, Rosemary A and Tom M… the rest of the crew having fags outside or coffee in the kitchen…. see you all next week…

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