Today there has been more art, much convivial conversation, and the appearance of creative work made visible to participants, locals and passersby alike. Sharon Jewell, who as co-director of LINES in the SAND (with Jo Kaspari and Pat Zuber) has been busy organising others, expressed her art making method as stealthy, “I like to silently slip out onto the gorge walk at sunrise”. She completed her first work and installed a second today. Both, in the spirit of the festival, tread lightly, but play with the imaginative possibilities that nature provides.
This ground work, made with leaves and sticks, traces a sinuous line toward the cliff, on the way surrounding a tree and covering its trunk, wandering upward briefly, before continuing its route forward over the earth. In its repetition of method it evokes a weed, the dangerous beauty of many such plants, their speed of adaptation to conditions the heart of their success and the key to their potential for damage. Yet the heart shape of the leaves selected, their immense variation in colour, shape and patination, is a reminder too of the core of humanity, and intrinsic difference in overt similarity. A walker commented in passing that in her work he had “encountered magic”, her approach of linking art to ecology finding a receptive audience in those attracted to the pristine natural environment of the island.
Her second work elevated sticks into a platform that moved up and around a pair of pandanus palms. The parallel arrangement of the sticks spoke to the natural arrangement of the pandanus root system, but also mimicked the manmade boardwalk that is designed to manage and protect the flora of the Gorge.
Late in the day, at a community LINES dinner in which food was as generously shared as ideas and connections, artists were welcomed by Auntie Joan and other Quandamooka locals, and festival instigator Jo Kaspari noted the ability of art to “be a voice that slips under the radar”, a power for change that may walk amongst us.
Redland City Councillor Paul Bishop noted that, “Artists are the gatekeepers who may guide us to new places”, their levels of creativity required for the challenge of the uncertain times ahead. The festival’s approach, its model of bringing people together, was identified by Pat Zuber as producing results that last. Yet as Michael Bulloch noted, the days ahead promise a journey, in which much may be learnt and unlearnt. This, the third incarnation of LINES in the SAND, is also being evaluated in terms of what its future could potentially encompass. LINES in the SAND began by recognising that new initiatives were being laid down in this special place. It marked the success of the native title claim for the Quandamooka people over Stradbroke and other bay islands in late 2011 but, just as significantly, the shifting boundaries evident on the island. This year’s festival begins officially tomorrow – its promise simmered in the room.