Friday, July 22, 2011


counting down the days until I leave for Byron Bay
(just 8 days until I hit the road....eek!)

So much to do, so little time!

(here's a small 'something' I'm working on to take with me....
it may or may not be used depending on conditions....)

From the first approach I've given this forthcoming A-i-R appointment a LOT of thought....
and not just about WHAT I'll be doing and how, and where, and for how long (and where I'll be staying!) .....

I've thought about it in relation to the whole of my arts practice and my convictions regarding environmental sustainability and the arts, place and art-making, and (eeek!) the prospect of being away from home and family for what I know I'll consider an eternity (in all, counting the 4 days on the road up and back, I'll be away from the family and the creek for 11-12 days.... which will be the longest continuous time spent away from the creek since 1995! eek!!!)

Although I'm still getting my head around that (eeek!) I made an early easy decision NOT to accept the offer to be flown in and out... and I suppose I should explain: I've been concerned for some time about air travel... most particularly the air flights that so much of our supermarket foods take (I noticed mangoes from Mexico were in Bega Coles this week... I mean seriously - WTF?) Yes I suppose you can accuse me of getting on my environmental high horse about this - but really folks, I think we need to think about the ramifications of all this food flying around the world (wheeeeee!) and just say NO! I don't want to eat mangoes that qualify for frequent flyer points! Cutting down on unnecessary air travel will go a LONG way to helping reduce carbon emissions.... and it's easy to chop food flights from our lifestyle (buy in-season, local produce instead)

So I have also thought a lot about all the (what I consider) unnecessary air travel that accompanies so much of the business and (because this is my arena) the arty world... How often do you read/see tales of art events where international arteests have been flown into town for a brief spectacular visit... oh it's all totally justifiable of course (such a great opportunity! such amazing work! oooo so good for the economy!)


I'm not pointing fingers at other people (seriously!) - I operate from the position that all I can change in the world is myself, and what I'm most critical of, and keen to correct, is my personal actions.... (I'm aware of a few wonderful artists who clock up a LOT of air hours, but they also manage to juggle the sustainability issue with justifiable aplomb - hats off to you guys! even if I think these artists are definitely in the minority...).  I've decided that in order for me to feel ok about what I'm doing, I need to 'walk the talk' - I don't think air flight is always the right way to go, so I decided that it will only be in exceptional circumstances that you'll see my butt on a plane. This will the first real test of my convictions..... (let's see how I feel after the long haul road trip eh?)

enough of my pontificating - I've got a heap more making to get done before next weekend!



  1. Thoughtful AND creative... way to go. Have to agree that the only way to change things is for each individual to make their own adjustments. Carbon tax wont do it... plant a tree.

  2. Hi Ronnie,
    Your artist in residence sounds very exciting. I'm sure all of your planning and preparation will make it a most rewarding and engaging experience for you.
    I'll be in the Byron area on 5th August, but I'm thinking your schedule is probably full on?
    Have a wonderful time.

    (I was very glad to read the house fire incident ended well.)

  3. Good for you, Ronnie. Having just booked my plane tickets for Impact 7 in Melbourne I feel slightly guilty although I know you're not pointing fingers at anyone! I guess I'm trying to limit my impact in other ways (no mangoes from overseas, for example) in the hope that the reduced impact from living my life up here on the block offsets my time in the air AND in the car! We have seriously thought about sailing back to the UK when we go instead of flying, but the trouble is the length of time it takes... not really practical. I admire your determination and ambition and look forward to reading much more about it in due course. Sara x

  4. I really hope that my grandiose statements aren't taken as a personal criticism by anyone.... I thoroughly respect different points of view and would hate to think that I might be seen to be laying a guilt trip on anyone who may not share my particular way of seeing the world - that's definitely NOT my intention... I just share my journey, my thought processes, and if that resonates - great....


  5. I admire and respect your decision ronnie - totally. But I am wondering whether one person in a car for all those kilometres is so much worse than the shared impact of a commercial flight in? Perhaps with the small planes (> small passenger numbers) travelling to small airports it is? I am in no way getting at you, this is a genuine question. After all, flying is (for most of us) still a form of public transport, and the detrimental effects could reasonably be divided among the passengers.

  6. I agree amanda - and I am really trying to lessen our car kilometres just on a general basis (I'm not holding out hope the upcoming trip will magically be shortened between now and the weekend however :~)...

    I'm really not at all adept at reading or understanding those very complicated equations that work out how much fuel per passenger each mode of transportation requires... (is anyone?) I just figure if you don't travel at all - well that's obviously the best decision! (and that's the direction I'm heading towards... say no to travel)... next to that would be a low/no impact mode (bicycle anyone? eek!) then we move from the least polluting mode of public transport (bus? car pool?) all the way up to the very big polluters (air planes, heavy machinery)

    I think many people would share your thoughts amanda - that flying is a form of public transport - and one where the bad effects might be seen as being divisible by the greater number of passengers a plane can hold.... and you know - I think that's a part of what I'm hoping folk think about..... to see us all genuinely evaluate EVERY trip in EVERY fossil fuel user...

    (I think I'm pontificating again aren't I?)


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx