Midnight Sun

July 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

For M.

When I was in Iceland, towards the end of May, the time between sunset and sunrise became smaller each day. We used to look at the weather report and see the times inch closer to each other. The period of “night” became something like an hour or an hour and a half before I left, a quiet blue.

It feels here that it becomes “dark” or the point of least incidental light at around 12:30pm. The pull towards darkness begins at about 10:30pm when you see the long point of the sun just above the horizon and this shear of light gleams across everything and passes over the tops of the trees outside my window. There is a slice of peach to pink to purple in the sky then, sitting against the horizon, soft and beckoning, before it fades to the beautiful blue.

That blue colour draws down from the top most point of the sky, the shift is slow but total. The trees change colour, the ground changes colour, as does the building. There is a sheen of blue almost like an aura, and it surrounds everything. The contrast is low, and some far away objects become indistinct. Even sounds feel like they become blue, or crisper, with the slightest metallic edge. The wind in the trees carries and it sounds like water against the shore.

But there is still the light. The sky is opaque, that is how it feels, or like a pearl with that gleam, perhaps like blown glass –  it has this colour as if it were an object and I could place my hand against it.  There is enough light that bees still work amongst the flowers. The light promotes a restlessness. i am constantly looking through my blinds, watching the shift, trying to recognise the point when it is dark.

The air is cooler of course, and being outside at this time confuses me. The ground is cool against my feet, it is very quiet and still. My mind recognises the signs that say this is darkness, but of course it is not. i want to explore but I am scared. I do not know if animals are affected – do they come out at this time, are they less afraid? What might i fail to see? But I am also drawn – these blues are hypnotic.

I am scared my cameras will not capture this light. I have taken some with the phone camera, but they do not show the blue as all pervasive. These were taken variously from 10:30pm and 12:30pm last night.

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Komulanköngäs waterfall & and

July 9, 2014 § 4 Comments

Yesterday I was a bit stir crazy. The isolation here is different to Iceland, as this isn’t just an area of remoteness, but an area remote from the already remote. There are several bikes here, but most have completely flat tyres, or pedals falling off. It took me the longest time to find a pump. One bike was in ridable condition after doing up the tyres, and I took off for the 14.5km round journey to the falls.

The road is gravel for half of the way, so it was slow going. The trip there is on the decline, so the ride back was quite a punish, but I did make it.

The falls themselves were interesting to a point, but I am so jaded lately (depression, preoccupation, mediated expectations, sickness) that I did not stay long, that and the bugs were out in force. The river splits in two (I am not sure if this is natural or man-made) before going over the falls. The smaller of the two streams has a mill built over it, so that the water funnels down a runway, which presumably powered the old mill.

This area is now set up for camper/walkers and has the obligatory wood shed and campsite/picnic table – however it also has a traditional wood sauna free for use – so I have suggested we all go in the van one day and make a fire and eat and have a sauna, and maybe we can run to the lake at the bottom of the falls (though I am petrified of lake/river swimming).

I really loved the ride down the big hills of the main road, it felt nice to have the cool wind over my body and through my hair. it was essentially just me on the road, four other cars in total, and they speed by and are gone like that – ghost people.

One thing about here is language. there are three Finnish people, two Germans and a Czech girl. No-one speaks English very well, so well all communicate in a pidgin, which makes it hard to have sustained conversations or really express my ideas or thoughts very well. I use gestures more. The czech girl must feel like me, as we do not have someone to speak with in our common tongue, so it becomes lonely and isolated.

Remoteness through language.

Remoteness through distance.

My heart is all over the place and I am struggling (?) to find a place of comfort and assuredness to settle. Its not so much knowing what my feelings are, but being able to keep them safe while I carry on with these other things in my life. It is hard not being able to have conversations. There is also the newness of everything that makes all emotions sharper, making me overthink things and push them more than they need to be pushed. I hope it gets easier.

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Northern light

November 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

There are things set in stone now for 2014. I find myself dreaming about it, especially the old growth forests, the light, the snow, the cold. The draw of the cold, the wild.

I have a solo exhibit at Bus Projects in Melbourne and am curating a group show in Melbourne with the theme of ‘work’, as in energy, effort and output.

First I will be at Mustarinda, Finalnd in July and August for a residency and exhibition program.

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Then I will be  travelling to Tromsø, in north Norway, for September and October, for a residency and proprosed project with the Research Centre for High North Operations at the University of Tromsø – which I am hoping to get a grant for as an early career residency (meaning I could stay much longer).

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My research now seems to centre around work in arctic and sub arctic climates, and fostering collectivity through exploring liminal space.

I didn’t take these images (google search).

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