My time between Trips 2 and 3 was largely spent seeking advice on traversable land alongside a river, to visit during Trip 3 for the collaborative constellation walk project. I ended up deciding to basing myself at a camp ground called The Gulf, in the newly created Barmah National Park on the Murray River, roughly an hour North of Shepparton. All I knew of this area was that it had previously been a highly utilised area of forest, with uses including timber, firewood, charcoal, hunting grounds and cattle grazing. Web sources mentioned that the Gulf Campground was a popular 4WD camp area, so I rocked up aware of the possibility that there may be generators, caravans, jet skis… and I found instead a completely empty camp ground with a breathtaking view!
Having collected a GPS navigation device on loan from Shepparton’s Riverconnect I spent the following day familiarising myself with this device and scouting out the start and finish points of my planned walk. The following day, I departed shortly after sunrise, to follow the route set out below:
Image:Bill Gilbert Eridanus 10mk walk route Barmah National Park VIC Australia.
Walking the constellation Eridanus across the floodplain of the Murray River, I encountered the landscape in a manner I never had before. My path dictated by the compass, my change in direction dictated by seemingly arbitrary points in the landscape. I walked all day, and at each ‘star point’ along the way, carefully constructed a very small fire out of materials nearby, burned it, and documented it with a photograph. My idea was to very subtly make an ephemeral site specific drawing of the constellation to the exact scale of my walk.
The next part of the process will be the translation of this walk into a visual art work for the gallery, and to continue ruminating on the practice of walking as art practice and research method.