Shepparton 2012, Trip 3 Amelia Zaraftis

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!

Image: Amelia Zarafts, Murray River bend at the Gulf Campground

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.

Image: Amelia Zaraftis Fire on red gum flat

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.

August 1, 2012 0 Comments Shepparton

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