After weeks of working on one design for my large tapestry then changing completely to another , I finally have a design that I am happy with. It will be called Visiting Tim and it includes experiences and memories of our journey that are important to me. I started using ochre powder which I had been given last Christmas. It took a while for me to find out how best to use the powder. In Kununurra I asked an Aboriginal woman called Agnes at one of the galleries and she told me to mix it with PVA. However I think I should have used more PVA to get the right consistency. Tim's partner Karen had organised for me to go to Warmun to work with the artists there but sadly one of their community died so the visit was cancelled. So after weeks of playing with the ochre design and symbols, I started again. The second lot of designs, done in soft pastel, are very different, more colourful and they too, have taken time to jell. The whole process has taken me 5 weeks as I am not a natural drawer. Lucky for me my drawing teacher from RMIT had started to take classes and his help and advice have been invaluable. He keeps pushing you to refine your design.
I will explain some of the symbols used. While in Darwin, we went to the Military Museum and experienced (I can't think of any other word to use) the Bombing of Darwin in WW2 light and sound show which was very moving; I was surprised at my reaction which was one of genuine patriotism. Hence the aeroplanes. The tree in the red shape comes from the grave of Albert Namajira which we saw by accident and didn't appear on any of the tours we had access to; it s almost as if he is forgotten. Family featured largely in the trip so I included boab trees which grow in families. and finally, I did catch a barra; but sad to say it was about 20 cm long so it went back.