Love Letters Across the Rim

“The Rim” community arts and ecology team, funders and partners take great pleasure in inviting our community to the opening of “Love Letters Across the Rim” on Saturday July 7 2012 at The Centre, Beaudesert.

This community exhibition is the culmination of 18 months of creative partnerships across the landscapes and communities of the Scenic Rim region where some 400 people have contributed to creating a series of painted banners and poems that celebrate our love for this place.

We welcome all residents and visitors to the opening and to the exhibition, which will be at The Centre, Brisbane Street, Beaudesert between July 7 and August 18.

For more information go to:

Numala Wani Kubill Jagun: Embrace Thee Beautiful Country

In this place, our breath is the land

our love, the rivers.

We are one when we weave within the wind and

send all our blessings across the mountains to

all the Ancestors

whose children are finding their way home.


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Deep Time Pachamama: Community Story

As we race towards the opening of our community exhibition “Love Letters Across the Rim” on Saturday July 7 2012 at The Centre, Beaudesert, we have finalised the community story for “The Rim” art and ecology.

Called “Deep Time Pachamama” the story weaves together the natural and cultural histories of the Scenic Rim region in a way we hope is easy to read.

The story was researched and written by Sally MacKinnon with funding from Scenic Rim Regional Council’s Envirogrant Program. We thank Council for their wonderful support for this part of “The Rim” project.

If you would like to read “Deep Time Pachamama” it is attached here for easy access and downloading: Deep Time Pachamama Community Story

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messenger dreaming

There are moments in life that inspire hope. More than hope; joy. And love. Because in those moments there are glimpses of our common humanity and our capacity to create and celebrate abundantly. Some folks describe that capacity as a moral dimension of life – when differences melt away and we come together with joy to share.

On Friday May 4 and Saturday May 5 2012, “The Rim” community art and ecology partnered with the Drumley Walk (Yugambeh Museum) and Murri Arts (Scenic Rim Regional Council) to participate in the diverse celebrations of Indigenous culture and creativity at The Centre in Beaudesert.

We hosted three activities:

1. The creation of a cross-cultural painting involving regional Indigenous and non-indigenous artists: Derek Fogarty, Kim Williams, Jarred Fogarty, Dave Groom and the Rock Doctor John Jackson. Together these wonderful artists created “Bugeram Chagun: Sacred Earth”, an extraordinary overlay of three systems – Mununjali Country and worldview; Earth-time geological formation of the Scenic Rim; and landscape connectivity.

2. The creation of a community painting involving some 50 people including children and Elders.

3. The development of a community poem called “Messenger Dreaming” based on Yugambeh/Mununjali language and built up over the two days through a word bank on the walls of the gallery. The poem is presented at the end of this post.

At the same time, we were able to film all the activities and interview the creative team so that over the next few weeks a short documentary will be produced about “The Rim” arts and ecology project and in particular, this cross-cultural collaboration.

Our first day at Murri Arts was a treat…a dream almost. We met early outside The Centre which was beautifully decorated with red fabric. Red kitchen lanterns – colanders – hung from tree branches and drifted in the morning breeze. Red ribbons and fabric were wound lovingly around tree trunks and into wooden benches. There were five painters, a poet and a filmmaker. No jarjums (children) with us today and the day rapidly became a space for adults and creativity and yarning and laughing…letting the child within each of us come out to play in the safety of creative collaboration. We shared our breath, our colours and our visions in the safety of art.

Derek, Kim and Jarred had worked hard the previous week to craft the incredible swathe of river right across the fabric that is the canvass for this work. They had started what would become intricately dotted bora rings across Mununjali land which are connected across the landscape in sacred trails, invisible usually, to whitefella eyes. There were fish in the clear river and many animals coming to the water to drink and feed. Abundance was everywhere – of spirit, connection, nourishment.

We were astonished at such beauty and that Indigenous worldview or cosmology is built into the heartbeat of this work.

Throughout the day, the five artists painted together around trestle tables, bringing their original concept to life. There was laughter and chatter, silence and space, absorption, concentration, and luscious shiny colours. The tiny cross-hatching on the goannas are created by Kim who pulls a hair from her head and fashions a brush so fine that the fairies must rejoice.

At the same time, the pre-sketched community painting was started by the first visitors to Murri Arts. It was continually evolved throughout two days by Auntie Sue, Auntie June, Linda, Marita, Sally, Noah, Derek, Jeff, Honey, Colin, Jennifer, Richard, Susan and many others who visited the art space and gallery.

And let’s not forget the community poetry corner. Yugambeh, Mununjali and English words were set out in giant fridge magnet-style so visitors could read them and add to them. Word banks were stuck to the gallery walls and collected ‘word deposits’ from visitors, to help form the foundation of the community poem.

The first day of Murri Arts finished with a bang – the Drumley Walk Elders Dinner – which was a truly memorable occasion starring Indigenous icons David Page, William Barton and the Jaran Dancers as well as Aunty Lorrain and Uncle Teddy. It was a glorious evening we will never forget!

May 5 was our second day at The Centre and it began with the start of the brilliant Drumley Walk. Hosted by the Yugambeh Museum, it is a not-to-be-missed event in the Scenic Rim’s calendar of events. Both Derek and Jarred were involved in the opening ceremony and it was great to see them support this vital cultural celebration.

The rest of the day was spent immersed in creative arts and conversation as more people visited The Centre and participated in Murri Arts activities including “The Rim” painting and poetry. All the works grew in scope and detail and by 3pm we had in our hands, the fully completed collaborative work and the community painting. Incredible!

This experience has been completely life-affirming and joyous. It has given “The Rim” art and ecology project soul and connection and all of us involved are so grateful. Heartfelt thanks from Sally MacKinnon and the Ethos Foundation go out to:

* Derek Fogarty, Kim Williams, Jarred Fogarty – our Indigenous artists

* Dave Groom and John Jackson – our landscape artist and rock doctor

* Rory O’Connor and the Yugambeh Museum team as well as the Drumley Walk volunteers

* Bronwyn Davies, Lea Schuster, Irene Girsch-Danby and Valkyrie – Murri Arts organisers and Scenic Rim Regional Council Arts and Culture team

* Jeff Licence, filmmaker and documenter extraordinaire

* Scenic Rim Regional Council and Arts Queensland for Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) funding

* Australian Government and Queensland Government Regional Arts Fund (RAF) funding

* All the members of our community who have picked up a brush and contributed to the community paintings; or contributed a powerful word or phrase to describe their love of this place.

We now move into preparations for the Community Exhibition “Love Letters Across the Rim” which will open on Saturday July 7:

Before then, on Saturday June 2, Sally will present “The Rim” community story at a morning workshop at the World Environment Festival at Boonah. Anyone interested is most welcome to come along and share:

And finally, here is the community poem created as a result of the Murri Arts experience…

Messenger Dreaming

dumburra gibbon (full moon)

It’s a full moon tonight.

My nephew Mackie tells me it’s

the closest the moon has been to Earth in

twenty years: more than his lifetime.

I watch her rise over Springbrook at dusk

full-bodied mother of the milky way,

that river of stars that winds across midnight and into our southern hemisphere hearts

until our bones shimmer and our

eyes shine.

This is home.

bithai bithai (happy families)

Our time in Beaudesert these past two days

has been filled with the families of

Mununjali Country.

A veritable landscape of blood love allowed us in,

worked alongside us until before we knew it

we were a community of

soft mornings and feathered wings

the black-and-white of the magpies and willy wagtails:

messenger birds of place and changing times.

gumera (blood, love)

The women gathered in the colours this time and

breathed love into purple curves and pink flowers.

marens – aunties

muyumgunns – daughters

nanangs – sisters

waijungs – mothers

barbuns – grandmothers

talgunn jimbilungs – women friends

We yarned and giggled and hummed and shared and sometimes

we were silent,

absorbed in our sea of inner stories as we painted together.

bugeram chagun (sacred earth)

I turned up one day on a quest; to find

the Yugambeh word for

aloha – we share our breath, or

namaste – we are one.

I scoured the slim dictionary for clues but

could find none there,

so I painted round the edges and listened,

found the jarjums and watched as they

washed the canvass with enough blue to

fill the Pacific and more.

On the long walk to the car at the end of that day

there it was on Brisbane Street,

in a public painting celebrating culture:

Numala Wani Kubill Jagun

Embrace Thee Beautiful Country

In this place, our breath is the land

our love, the rivers.

We are one when we weave within the wind and

send our blessings across the mountains to

all the Ancestors

whose children are finding their way home.


Posted in Cross-Cultural Creative Collaboration, Murri Arts & the Drumley Walk, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cross-Cultural Collaboration

On Saturday April 21 2012, “The Rim” community art and ecology project began one of our most significant processes.

In partnership with the Yugambeh Museum, we hosted a gathering in Beaudesert that brought together two Mununjali Elders – Uncle Teddy and Uncle Peter; and three Indigenous artists – Mununjali Men Derek and Jarred Fogarty (father and son) and Kim Williams – with the non-Indigenous creative team of Dave Groom, John Jackson (painters) and Sally MacKinnon (poet/writer). Also with us on the day were 10 year old Tahlia Fogarty and John’s artist/partner Honey.

The gathering integrated two central components of “The Rim”:

1. Storytelling with Mununjali Elders to learn about some of their connections to the landscapes of this Country and this place;

2. Cross-cultural creative collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists based around the 2012 Drumley Walk and Murri Arts on the May Day long weekend.

The connections and cosmology of Indigenous people to their land has always been a crucial foundation of “The Rim” and we are honoured and thrilled to be collaborating so closely with some of the Mununjali Elders and local painters.

On Saturday morning we listened to stories from the Uncles and had a wonderful opportunity to ask them questions about Mununjali Country which includes Beaudesert, the Kerry Valley out towards Darlington and Lost World, Tamborine Mountain, Canungra and Beechmont. We heard about the experiences of Murri life along the Logan River, the post World War II era in Beaudesert, the abundance of bush tucker and other fresh food like watermelons growing along the river banks and out in the valleys, mountains like Mt Barney and Mt Lindesay, and some of the bunyip stories from around Il-Bogan Lagoon.

After a shared lunch the artists focused on preparing two large fabric paintings that will be created at Murri Arts and the Drumley Walk launch on May 4 and 5. One is  a community painting that anyone attending those events is welcome to contribute to. The other is a special collaboration between our painters Derek, Kim, Jarred, Dave and John which integrates three systems into the one painting – the geological underground, Indigenous world view, and the cool, green landscapes of the Scenic Rim.

Alongside the artists, Sally is preparing a poetry component for the workshops at Murri Arts that incorporate words from Mununjali language and the Yugambeh Language region .

We thank Derek, Kim and Jarred for their wonderful involvement in “The Rim” project.

Derek was born in Beaudesert and has spent much of his life in Mununjali Country. He has been painting for 30 years when he started practising art at primary school. He has continued it since then. After he finished high school he began to learn about his Aboriginality in a broader context and extended his painting to explore his heritage and culture. Schools and other organisations including local governments and community groups commission his work and he has a 15m “Rainbow Serpent” mural at Beaudesert State School. The former Beaudesert Shire Council commissioned 18 paintings from Derek in the mid-2000s and these grace the main street of Beaudesert. He also has privately commissioned works as far afield as Switzerland and New Zealand.

Kim Williams has been painting since childhood and the stories behind her paintings are handed down from her Nan. She was born in Cherbourg and has lived in Beaudesert for 24 years. Kim created a 15m wall mural at Gleneagle State School and has completed many international and state commissions of her work. She is a member of the Stolen Generation and keeps her culture alive through her paintings and stories.

Kim Williams 3

Kim Willimas 4

Jarred Fogarty is an emerging young painter from Beaudesert. He works at Triple A Murri Country Radio Station in Brisbane and is dedicated to learning and teaching about Indigenous culture. Jarred is also helping with  documenting some of Elders stories during this phase of “The Rim”.

The work that is produced during this phase of “The Rim” will be showcased at our upcoming community exhibition from July 7 2012. In addition, Derek, Kim and Jarred will include some selected individual pieces for the exhibtion.

We are all looking forward to participating in Murri Arts and the Drumley Walk events on May 4 and 5 and hope to see you there.

Closing the Gaps

“Jarjum” is my word for the day;

It’s Mununjali for “children”.

Here, the jarjums go to the homework centre on

Wednesday’s and

listen to their Elders.

Here, they don’t endure the racism of

their parent’s day and for that,

we are all grateful.

Closing the gap is slow business, says Uncle Teddy

but at least it’s starting to happen.

Today I discovered the back streets of Beauy in

search of the Uncles.

There is shared lunch

Shared stories

Shared history

Missing history.

We shine torches through the gaps to

illuminate our shared humanity and take

one more chance to honour

Mother Earth.

A moment of inspiration flares between

the visionaries, the storytellers, the explorers.

Three systems are laid out across the

the painted canvass on the floor:

That extraordinary birds-eye-view of First People’s landscapes from the air;

Then the deep history of the Logan River, beyond

that brutal bastard down to Earth-time, where we speculate whether

the river once flowed backwards to the west,

then in a geological blink, turned east

where it runs today.

Third are textured landscapes in cool greens and blues to

close the gaps and blend the spaces into

a whole that will burst across imaginations.

There are family photos today, lovingly

unfolded from wallets and purses and shared across

landscapes and lifetimes.

Families stretched beyond breaking,

then broken, find their way home in

Grandmother spirits and

bloody-minded perseverance.

Stolen generations

Stolen wages

Government bureaucrats calculate the cost of rape in dollars

when money is hardly the issue at stake.

Australian Aborigines were legally defined as

flora and fauna until 1972.

It’s not just our convict-settler history that burns,

it’s this lifetime too.

An elbow of ironbark is carved into a boomerang.

Two days with a penknife then the father gives it to his son.

After World War II, a Mununjali soldier returns to Beaudesert and Peterson Street grows

into homes for Murris.

Back then he fought for Australia but

was curfewed out of town

on dark.

Between one white generation and the next,

respect was learned and

shotguns were replaced with a welcome back

onto river banks for

Men’s business.

The jarjums listen. The gaps are slowly closed and

Uncle Teddy thanks god he’s still alive to see it.

Sally MacKinnon


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rare birds

On Saturday September 10 2011, “The Rim” creative arts team of John, Dave, Sally, Huon and Honey travelled along the sweep of the southern edge of the Scenic Rim to help celebrate Birdweek at Mt Barney Lodge with painting and poetry workshops.

We were literally blow-ins, carried on a huge sou’westerly  wind that barrelled through the region like waves of freight trains across Friday and Saturday.

It was the fourth community workshop for “The Rim” project and while it’s officially the last one with John and Dave leading the way with community paintings, we’ve all had such a great time we’re looking at how we can continue to work together, particularly within the 2012 Drumley Walk arts space next May. That would make it 5 community workshops and an important step in the Fibonnace sequence John tells us.

Our journey to Mt Barney on Saturday was an important and poignant one. Mt Barney, with its imposing, brutal facets is at the epicentre of the Scenic Rim region’s life or death fight against the arrival of coal seam gas exploitation. The mountain, in this era of shameless energy, resource and money rushes, highlights what is at stake.

Our living landscapes or a 10-year, non-renewable energy grab…family-run farms and local food or coal seam gas wells carving up prime agricultural land…immersive eco-tourism or multinational moonscapes…the rainforest where the Albert River rises and flows or poisoned waterways…

As we drove across this beloved country our hearts bled but at the same time we saluted the community and small business activists fighting this ‘david and goliath’ battle. At Beaudesert, on our way to Mt Barney Lodge, we stopped to collect 100 yellow triangle signs with “Lock the Gate – no coal or coal seam gas” to distribute at the next Beechmont community markets. These signs are beginning to dot the roadways of the Scenic Rim like bows on many of the old eucalypt trees.

Our host for this workshop was Mt Barney Lodge, a family-owned eco-tourism campground and lodge run by Tracey and Innes Larkin with their children Caitlyn and Connor. Each year in September they host a birdweek celebration to introduce locals and visitors to many of the beautiful birds of the Mt Barney area. The rare glossy black cockatoo is high on their agenda.

We set up our painting area in a protected, sunny courtyard in direct line of sight of the imposing Mt Barney. By 10am we were joined by Connor and Caitlyn and with Dave and John’s beautiful sketch laid out across the fabric, we began to paint.

Big blue skies and clouds first, mirroring the real life sky above us.

Then it was onto the yellows, oranges, reds and purples of the rocks and soil beneath the forests of the Scenic Rim.

Birds, mountains and boulders followed as some 25 people joined us at the painting tables during the day.

And all the while Mt Barney watched, its faces subtly changing as the light rounded and moved across the morning.

After lunch, with painting in full swing, Caitlyn, Honey, Tracey and Sally gathered at the poetry corner to capture words, ideas and stories about bird watching, Mt Barney, white settlement and Aboriginal heritage, language and even philosophy.

This became our most active poetry session yet with four wonderful poems emerging on the day from Caitlyn, Honey, Tracey and Connor. These are included further down in this blog entry along with Sally’s poem from the workshop.

Another highlight of the event was Huon’s spontaneous creation of the song “Hot Magma” on his acoustic guitar. As we painted the rocks and rifts beneath the Scenic Rim and John (aka the Rock Doctor) told us stories about how the region was formed geologically, Huon nabbed words and phrases and crafted a great song that we think the world’s geological community will take to its heart. Rock on…!

Stay tuned – Huon plans to record it over the September holidays and we’ll post “Hot Magma” on this blog for all emerging rock doctors to enjoy as soon as it’s available!

Our painting was finished by 3pm, well before the springtime sunshine dropped away behind trees and mountains. It’s the fourth community painting to be created during “The Rim” workshops and over 310 people have now participated in crafting this series of paintings.

School children, toddlers, young people, mums and dads, grandparents – painters of all ages have contributed to this beautiful body of work so far.

What a delight it is to be part of “The Rim” and share creativity and love of our living landscapes together through painting, poetry and now song.

Our dream of crafting a series of creative love letters to our landscapes is certainly coming to life.

On July 6 2012 our community exhibition will open at The Centre at Beaudesert. Between now and then:

  • Sally will write a community story about the ecology and landscapes of the ScenicRim;
  • Sally, John and Dave will continue to create individual art works that celebrate our regional geology and landscapes for the exhibition;
  • The Yugambeh Museum will continue to plan the 2012 Drumley Walk and in collaboration with “The Rim” project, will create a 4-day arts space and artist-in-residence program involving indigenous and non-indigenous artists and writers, the Drumley Walk community and Elders;
  • John, Dave and Sally will plan and organise the community exhibition and potentially a community publication.

We offer our heartfelt thanks to our community of painters and poets, the Ethos Foundation, Scenic Rim Regional Council and Arts Queensland – Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), Council’s EnviroGrant program, the Commonwealth Government’s regional arts program the Regional Arts Fund, and our partners Mt Barney Lodge, BOSS, BADCAP, Yugambeh Museum and the Drumley Walk, Goat Track Theatre, and SEQ Catchments.

For more information about “The Rim” community art and ecology program contact Sally MacKinnon at

Here are our Mt Barney Birdweek Celebration poems…

The Art of Life

“The rocks were floating on the river of dangerous mud down

to the sun-sprinkled mountain where

rescuers saved a timeline of people of all

names and languages.

From a bird’s eye view a

squadron of rainbow lorikeets thought

it was glamorous.

And that is the ‘art of life’. “

(By Caitlyn Larkin, 10 years old)


A Sighting

One glance, one miracle

– a Spotless Crake!

Glorious sparks!

Ray of hope!

Striking, dashing

Making circular rings

Above the canopy

And up the slope…

Mt Barney risen

A magma chamber

Majestic sight

Large crystals of time

Floating rock;

Floating bird

Both such a wonder

Elevate the day

Elevate the mind.”

(By Honey Clarke)

“Teamwork is personal

in the Scenic Rim.

The wildlife colours

are pretty.”

(By Connor Larkin, 8 years old).


Rock and Place

Wind-blown, thistledown pilgrims,

we landed at your rocky home

to wonder about time

and memory.

Heat, pressure, collision

formed your craggy soul

Laughter, listening, love

Magma music, friendship, hand to hand,

simple offerings sooth away the pain.

Shared journeys paint

happiness and history,

questions too

about our place with you.

Confetti of thoughts,

dreaming, science

ancient stories flutter as

children’s wisdoms sing

beneath your magnificence of

explosion and gases

Looking up

the trees and grass,

pockets of green comfort,

softening the flinty edges

of your spirit, more than rock

and more than place

we together call home

(By Sara Bruxner)

Terminal Speed

“Soar over this scenic

landscape of purpose

Spotless ancient resources

present with Yugambeh gliding

A bird’s eye view of pioneering possibility

leaves a swoop of farmland clearing

and cloven-hoofed opportunity.

Experiencing eclipses for two score years

soon clamourous populations accelerate the

Rim’s spiral into joining the

economic flock.

Flashes of wingbeat ideas.

Terminal speed.”

(By Tracey Larkin)





Federated Rituals

Journeys of the heart follow

the full moon in


spiralling through time across

landscapes of love.

Quiet pink stories about

floating rocks in

shallow oceans

elevate 200 million years of hot spots into a

marriage of continents that welcomes us inside the Rim.

Here, mountain romance inspires lovers to see

rare black crystals and glossy birds,

flying in federated rituals that

rescue rocks like whales from the hands of

false science.

On the sacred beach

a flock of flying fish sails in unison with the

howling sou’wester.

We name the cauldrons of our lives, and craft

wreaths of chequered words to protect the

unborn children and speak for the trees.

(Sally MacKinnon)

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the fabric of time and space


John, Dave and Sally ventured forth in dismal weather on Tuesday August 23 to work with some 150 primary school children from schools around the western side of the Scenic Rim. It was a big occasion too – the first-ever Schools Science Expo, held at the Beaudesert Showground. Due to the dreadful southerly rain fronts sweeping South East Queensland, we were all indoors – rocket men, sleek science geeks, teachers, kids, two artists and a poet.

John had prepared an extraordinary 10m x 3m fabric timeline painting from the Big Bang to the present day which traversed through a billion years every 2 metres. Right at the very base was a green line representing the Scenic Rim.

The aim was to help 150 children fill in over 4 billion years with painted stars, planets, early life forms, continents, plants and more – in under 2 hours! Could we pull this one off we wondered as we mixed colours and paints at 8.30am?

With the help of our young painters who are also budding scientists, plus a couple of heroic helpers, we did pull this one off.

Stars…stars everywhere were painted and coloured and began to shine with smiles and funny faces.

Clouds and black holes appeared across atmospheric history.

Microscopic forms of life exploded in colour down through the geological ages.

Then finally the 24 million years of life in the Scenic Rim emerged.

One hundred and fifty small hands holding paintbrushes and bottle top lids filled with colours, worked tirelessly through five rotations of 30 children for 20 minutes at a time.

There was not a single spill (wish we could say the same of the oil companies) and a delightful, orderly, sharing of space quickly arose in each and every group. We have nothing but praise for these great local kids and schools.

John welcomed each group with a 5 minute briefing about the Big Bang and the evolution of life in the solar system and on Earth. As well as his excellent storytelling ability, he showed great skills with a loud mallet (the big bang) and showerings of bamboo mulch (stardust).

Dave, our helper Heidi and Sally madly sorted colours, matched lids with paint pots, cleaned brushes and guided kids along so everyone had a place to paint and the tools to do the job.

Sally ran around groups collecting words from our young painters and many of these have found a place in the evolving poem from the event “3 Billion Years of Space”.

After an incredibly speedy and intense 2 hours the painting was almost completed. Dave has taken it back to his studio and will finish off just a few unpainted figures including a trilobyte and some bugs.

We’re thrilled with the painting which will be a central image in our 2012 community exhibition at The Centre, Beaudesert. We haven’t yet figured out how or where to hang it but there’s time for that.

Sally is now in the midst of finishing and honing the poem “3 Billion Years of Space” but the beginnings of it are included below. It may end up on a long length of fabric to accompany our school expo painting, though some words and phrases will no doubt also be added to the painting itself.

We thank Belinda Lahrs, Science teacher and facilitator extraordinaire for including “The Rim” project in the Science Expo. This is our only chance to work with lots of children from the Scenic Rim and they did their schools and painting proud.

Hopefully they and their teachers will follow the progress of “The Rim” community art and ecology project on this blog and come to see the exhibition in July 2012.

We also thank Scenic Rim Regional Council and the RADF Committee for their support and flexibility in allowing us to be part of the Science Expo and make the most of the opportunity to work with so many local children on one day.

It was a blast…a (big) bang…a stellar occasion…and “The Rim” continues on, weaving its way through many of the communities and events of the Scenic Rim. Remember to come and participate at our final community workshops on Saturday September 10 at Mt Barney Lodge!

One of the most special aspects of this project is that it’s woven into the very fabric of our region. We’re local artists, working with local groups who host local events with local people. Through all this localness is a lot of love, celebration, creativity and inspiration for our region’s ancient history, geology, landscapes, ecology and life. And a real respect for each other.

3 Billion Years of Space

We traverse contested space





Yesterday, confirmation that the oldest form of life so far was

found in the Pilbara

3.4 billion years…

9 years to confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt…

the same age as our painters today

who say this space is:







Open space expands as the universe accelerates.

I can see the tree across the road faster

than you can reach it

which means

we can see backwards to

The Beginning Of Time

with the right eyes.

Our painters today say:







As we tell stories about beginnings,

the Big Bang becomes a mallet hammered against steel

stardust, a handful of shredded mulch tossed to the air.

Before us lies the fabric of time and space, drafted

in water-colour pastels

apart from molten scarlet.

All around us are little gods

painting the edges

cooking the books

riding the waves of energy along

universal grooves.

Earth evolves from bacteria into

the collective unconscious manifesting



Life accelerated when molten cooled and those miracle plants exhaled

into atmospheric blue.


Life changed everything on Earth.

Posted in Scenic Rim Schools Science Expo, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

we’re at the Birdweek Celebration September 10

“The Rim” community art and ecology project is coming to Mt Barney Lodge’s Birdweek Celebration on Saturday September 10.

Between 10am and 3pm visitors and guests to Mt Barney Lodge are invited to help create
a giant community fabric painting that celebrates the birds, landscapes and geology of the Scenic Rim.

Our dynamic duo – regional artists John Jackson and Dave Groom will guide this hands-on painting and all ages are welcome to participate. No previous painting experience is necessary.

The team’s poet and writer Sally MacKinnon will also work with visitors and guests to
craft words, poems and stories that speak of our regional landscapes and creatures through fun creative writing processes. All ages are invited and no writing experience is necessary because the power of a single word is enough…

Both activities are free and will be running between 10am and 3pm on Saturday
September 10 at Mt Barney Lodge. Come for 5 minutes or 5 hours! All equipment
is supplied.

The painting and poetry created at the Birdweek Celebration will contribute to “The
Rim” 2012 community art exhibition and community publication which will celebrate our region’s ancient landscapes and the love our people and communities have for the Scenic Rim region.

This project is hosted by the Ethos Foundation and funded by Scenic Rim Regional Council and the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund which gives artists and communities throughout regional, rural and remote Australia better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts. Our partners include Mt Barney Lodge, BADCAP, BOSS, Yugambeh Cultural Museum, SEQ Catchments and Goat
Track Theatre.

To book for Birdweek contact Mt Barney Lodge: (07) 5544 3233

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