What a wonderful week we had in Menindee this year, 2013, our 4th annual trip. The locals are getting to know us by name and regularly visit us in the hall.
Our group this year consisted of 11 artists, one photographer and one botanist with his family. We booked the Hall for 9 days this year which turned out much better than previous years, of only 5 days. All artists chose at least one plant to illustrate and several artists collected up to three.
Results: 11 artists undergoing 17 new paintings with accompanying plant collections.
Amy, Valerie, Wal, Andrew and I arrived a couple of days early this year which turned out to be extremely helpful. ‘Gun’ Amy organised much collecting and Andrew spent long enthusiastic days identifying the plants. By the first day in the hall artists had a chosen species to illustrate! As more artists arrived through the week they were able to choose from a list of identified Beckler plants flowering this year. As the arid species are so reliant on local weather conditions, we have come to understand it is best to be on site to see which species to choose to paint in any given year.
|Sandy shore of receding Lake Menindee (Photo copyright: Mali Moir, 2013)|
We were in Menindee a little earlier this year and so it was a little cooler, the days were glorious with only a couple of very windy nights. Last to pack up the hall was Amy, Valerie, Wal and I, and so we thought it fitting to celebrate the end of another wonderful year in our fav arid zone with steak sandwiches and Cow Girl shots on the receding white sandy shores of Lake Menindee in Kinchega National Park. As you can see we got there rather late and missed the setting sun but were entranced by the lights of the Milky Way and saw 3 satellites and one majestic falling star.
|Magical moonrise (Photo copyright: Mali Moir, 2013)|
This year I was invited to give a talk at the Mildura Arts Centre as part of the Art of Science Exhibition focusing on my role as expedition artist with special mention of the Beckler’s Botanical Bounty project .... great opportunity to spread the word ! Local radio is often interested in our story, this year we were interviewed by ABC Rural.
We plan to return to Menindee again next October to continue our project. Margot Muscat from the Darling Shire Council has asked us to contribute a photographic exhibition of our project to be displayed next year on our 5th visit. I have had brief discussions with a few curators regarding exhibition opportunities of our project including paintings, photographs, plant specimens and paraphernalia in 2015. Other opportunities for exhibition and publication continue to be discussed.
A special thanks to the National Herbarium of Victoria, whose ongoing support significantly enriches our project and secures us a place in history. An extra special thanks to our honorary botanist Andrew Denham who spends his holidays with us! Thus ensuring our project runs meltdown-free.
A great many thanks to all contributors whose happy energetic input make this project a special delight to be part of. As always, I look forward to the warmth of our fav arid zone country next October, our 5th year and our Milestone year.
Much love and many thanks to all ............. Mali
|2013 -- The Year of the Flies! (photo copyright: Mali Moir, 2013)|