With the first trip still fresh in my memory, my second trip to Shepparton was an opportunity to dive in to some art making while the ideas and knowledge shared by community members during Trip 1 simmered gently in my mind. I had in mind a project which required at least 10kms of traversable land alongside a river, to embark on a collaborative walking project with colleague Bill Gilbert in New Mexico, however with all of the recent rain, the floodplains were… well, flooded – and therefore not quite traversable. With the scouting out of dry land set aside for the time being, I decided to continue working on another recent line of enquiry, the wrapping of trees using forestry tape, as a temporary intervention in forested areas.
Image: Erika Kusumoto Amelia Zaraftis wrapping tree in orange.
During an afternoon drive, we stopped by the outskirts of the Shepparton Airstrip, where I appreciated the stitching up of the fence with blue bailing twine, a material that I have previously woven sculptural forms with. Handy stuff, I remember how neatly a farmer I once knew would bundle up the twine and keep it in the shed for making ropes, and for various other purposes around his property.
Further along, we were able to look at one of the newly lined irrigation channels, now more leak resistant with the roll out of thick black plastic – a controversial solution as it is slippery which makes it difficult for creatures great and small to escape if they find their way in to the channel.