Saturday, January 26, 2013

an australia day message from sams creek...

This Australia Day has gone to the birds
and I don't mean the turkeys that use the day as an excuse for drunken rants about
what a 'real' Australian looks and acts like
and how many of them can fit on the hood of a hotted up Holden

Here at Sams Creek we know a true little Aussie when we see one...

lyrebird of sams creek (who's a pretty boy) from ronnie ayliffe on Vimeo.

*I loved this collection of stills of this lyrebird from 'critter cam'
so overnight I made my first little video and joined the vimeo community


He's a good looking boy don't you think?

 Australia - land of great birds.

(and that's worth a celebrating wot?)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TAG - 1

one red novel on a weathered post by the pacific ocean
gulaga (the mother) extinct volcano on the horizon



Sunday, January 20, 2013


After completing a whole year of weekly art gestures
I needed a small time out
to reflect and recharge

but heat and lurking fires have made rest and reflection (not to mention gardening) damn difficult

but on we go and I'm here to talk about the year ahead...


2013 is going to be busy busy busy
and for the next few months I'm not going to be as active either here 
or in visiting/ interacting in other forums -- I hope everyone understands 
that I'm hunkering down to complete my MFA exegesis 
and the accompanying artwork for my examination exhibition 
(draft exegesis is due around May and the exhibition is scheduled for August -- double eek!)


I'm still going to be making and sharing small gestures of artiness

every second Tuesday throughout 2013

(yes I'm halving my workload and moving the art gesture post to another day)


I've got a few other projects waiting in the wings

Very soon I'll share with you my two completed BAO editions (these were posted out around the globe this week and I just have to get the word that they have been received before I do the reveal) AND I've got a handful of other arty endeavours waiting in the wings PLUS I'm working on a special something -- hint: I'm hoping to share a lot more about my region later in the year including some visions of loveliness and introductions to some of this area's creative thinkers and doers (but that's a bit further into the future)....

RIGHT NOW - has everyone noticed that I've made a slideshow of 2012 art gesture pics and given them a blog page to live on? ... and I've made a change to how my blog comments work - now they are embedded (so I can reply to each and every comment you leave - right there on the blog - I do so appreciate the time you all take to drop a line)

final thought for the week - damn I hope it rains soon....

Saturday, January 19, 2013

hot right now...

Yesterday was the hottest day for NSW in recorded history

almost 45C here - 46C in Sydney
(that's 113F and 115F old school measurements)

it felt even hotter with a SW wind that sucked every drop of moisture from body and land

this is the sight repeated all around my yard...

birds dropped dead and fell from the sky mid-flight

it was awful

Boots plonked himself in front of the fridge - hoping that the door would be opened

A fire flared in Millingandi (near Merimbula - approx 60kms to my south)

unfortunately 2 families lost their homes and sheds

and over the border there are news reports that an elderly man lost his life
in fires around Seaton

Fire is a fact of life in many parts of Australia - like heat, drought, and flies...
this season is a particularly nasty one -
and I fear that we are going to experience more and more nasty fires seasons....

I'm not sure if there's much merit in debating the extent to which climate change is to blame
(but you might like to read this report: 'what's causing Australia's heat wave')

There's a very real sense that Australia is the canary in the coal mine...


Sunday, January 13, 2013

out of the hat...

its time

names are written on the inside of a repurposed envelope

into the hat they go

 shake shake shake

sass is concentrating so hard to find a slip of paper
(its his hat so he got to choose)

and the winner is....

 The Shopping Sherpa
(oooo gads look at how shockingly penned that name is! 
 I almost rewrote your name SS as I was embarrassed by the penmanship...
I might have jinxed your chances if I had!) 

I will be posting out the little coptic bound book to you tomorrow SS

along with a zine (and etc) to everyone who has sent me their address

thankyou all - your choices have helped me decide
which images will be used in a future project

ps - misty rain and cool temps outside today - yay!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

another day...

A quick post as a reminder 
Tomorrow I'll be drawing a name from a hat 
to send this little handmade book to...


 AND I'll be organising to post a zine
(and possibly a little something else)
for everyone who has picked a favourite gesture (or gestures)
and (this is the important bit) sent me their postal details

so leave a comment, drop me an email, or otherwise get in touch


in other news
Brogo fire - the day after the worst of it...
still putting out trouble spots with the assistance of 'fire bird' (the firefighting helicopter)
this is one of my father's pics - he's a Group Captain with the RFS

Thanks for all the concerned notes and calls - this week has been a long, tough, hot affair for many in this hot, dry land. The Brogo fire to my south has been extinguished (one of the few in NSW to be completely controlled - yay!) but over the hills and not far enough away to our west, the largest fire in NSW - the Yarrabin fire - still rages on.... Fortunately the weather has not been totally appalling (not like Tuesday) which has slowed the fire from entering the forests behind our place.... today there is a lot of smoke and haze blowing in from the fire - its going to continue to be a nerve-wracking time for everyone in this part of the world until we get drenching rain...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


the start of what we knew would be a tense day
many areas in our state have severe, extreme or catastrophic fire conditions
even at 6am it was hot....

by lunch time its terribly hot (around 40C) and windy with very low humidity
the very worst conditions for fire

yesterday we talked about our fire plan
our home is an old weatherboard and cannot be safely defended 
so we have always understood that in the event of an emergency we will evacuate early

we got the kidlets to identify what their most precious items are
 and to practice how to pack these quickly and without fuss


fire flares in the distance...

warrigal range road brogo - approx 20kms away

friends have been evacuated or have hunkered down
and we all wait nervously

its an eerie sight 

but I write this post to reassure friends from afar
who have started to phone or email
(the fire is being reported on national news)


and I sense a change in the weather is coming

it can't come soon enough

keep your bits crossed for those in the impact zone

and please - if you have some spare dollars - 
you might like to donate to the Red Cross Tasmania Fire appeal
(so many people lost so much there this week)


** update 8.30pm


a cool change has eased conditions here - and the change is heading up the coast
fingers crossed for communities to our north also experiencing very hard times

(just before I snapped this pic a water bombing plane flew over our house -
heading into the brogo fire - no doubt picking up a load from
wallaga lake before heading into the sunset and the fire...)

this is the first of many tense days ahead

(there's a big mother of a fire to our west that is far scarier that this puppy)

thanks for note and calls

its going to be a long summer - until there's RAIN


Monday, January 7, 2013

for you...

 this is what I've made to give to one of you
to say 'thanks'...

 its a little coptic bound journal

135mm x 95mm
made from collected things...

inside are blank pages as well as assorted ephemera...

maps and other bits... 

even some scraps of my calligraphic work... 

for you to embellish or do what you'd like to do 

On Sunday (Jan 13)
I'll pop the name of everyone who has selected a favourite 'gesture' pic into a 'hat'
and pick a recipient at random

oh and for everyone who has indicated their fav gesture work
and emails me their details - 
I'll post you a little zine 

(yes I know I've posted this to some folk already...
and I'm about to post one to everyone in the BAO group)

plus - its highly likely that I'll slip something else into the envelope too!

so don't forget drop by here and tell me your fav

by telling me the images you like best you're helping me make some decisions



Sunday, January 6, 2013

a year of art gestures....

one year
gosh where has the time gone?
yes I know I've said it before... but it only seems like last week that I started this journey
and now a year (52 weeks) has disappeared in a cloud of smoke (and books!)

here's a quick recap....

When you see them all together like this a number of 'themes' start to be rather obvious... the first of course is that every week included something with, made from, about BOOKS (derrrrrr like you needed to wait until now to be told this) .... it MAY surprise you to learn however that I didn't start out with this in mind (it was somewhere around week 6 that I realised everything I was doing had books..... so I thought I'd ride that pony as far as it took me..... after 52 weeks of booky gestures it's now clear to me that I could go on and on and on with my books FOREVER). 

Another unintentional bit was the repeating palette (look at them - they're all B&W, red, blue and a tiny bit of yellow/green..... huh! again - not intentional... indeed the red didn't really emerge until week 6... then it kept popping up!). I DID however start out with one thing that I knew would be a part of each week's work - every single 'gesture' was captured with my batphone using the hipstamatic app (and minimal rework before upload - and I really do mean minimal - mostly resizing for the blog and that's it) this restriction proved both a discipline and an education...

There are other things about the series that may not be quite as obvious - every 'gesture' was created at home/near to home (Bermagui, the next town over from Cobargo, was a far as the series travelled) and our small creek featured heavily (there I was wading and splashing on weeks 9, 21, 31, 39, 41 and 49). Most of the works were in response to the week's weather or events:  flood (W9), winter frosts (W32), blossom burst (W35), family wedding (W50)... Many weeks involved a lot of physicality - like lugging tonnes of books to the beach (W8), forest (W24), farm hill (W26), creek (W39, W49) - thank goodness for small children with big muscles I say, because my back has long been a wrecked mess!

The 'gestures' that I enjoyed the most were the unexpected ones.... a found nest hinted to a work (W51), a found hole that proved just perfect for books (W47), a ploughed paddock was prime for planting (W22), found tracks begged to be followed (W37)...  I also perversely enjoyed when my original idea met with radical modifications as the work unfolded (W35 book page blossom started out as something completely different... not that you could know that!) - I grew to love the unpredictable nature of collaborations (W14 surf surge - oooops!).

Not every week/ gesture was gold... but I'm surprised now by how many of these I DO like - for an ephemeral, casual, unpremeditated, off-hand bit of artyness, I think it made for a nice art experience (wellll at least it did for me! you have *no* idea how silly/happy I was creating some of these things..... at times I would break out in fits of giggles - its fortunate I didn't have a large audience standing nearby!) 

This series was specifically created for online viewing and sharing - essentially it was made for YOU  --- and I really appreciated all of you who dropped by over the year and took an interest - thank you, thank you for all your lovely comments and notes...

To thank you properly I've made a little something (a few little somethings actually) that I'd like to give to you in return for a favour --- I'd like to know what gesture/ week or individual image was YOUR favourite -- you can pop your answer in the comments below or leave a note on my fb page (rhonda ayliffe - artist) or email me: (rhonda[dot]ayliffe[at]gmail[dot]com) ..... I'd love to hear from any new folk (who may have felt a bit shy to comment earlier) just as much as all the lovely loyal supporters that I like to think of as friends.....

Tomorrow I'll post piccies of the special something I've created to give to one of you -- but I'll send all of you a little something if you tell me your fav pic and email me your postal details...

thanks so much

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

the day after news years day...

New Years's Day
(between milking times)
we dropped by a local beach ...

ooo what a glorious summer beach day it was! 

on a beautiful beach, watching delighted kidlets catch waves, 
its easy to feel gratitude for all the good things in our lives

With a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm,
I popped into the studio to create a small journal.
 Rather than make it with blank pages
(which, let's be frank, can be mighty intimidating) 
I rummaged through my paper drawers for odd bits of used paper and ephemera...

old bits of my work (that didn't quite 'work' if you know what I mean)
maps, fold outs, gleaned pages, grubby paper...

from these I cut up pages and had fun making arrangements...

which I bound into a small fat book


not quite empty pages waiting for work

and some rather full pages waiting for 'modification'...

my intention is to create a small drawing/collage/note inside the journal each day for 2013
not necessarily a page a day -- but 'something' added daily

as its a little project just for me 
just for fun
for distraction
for release and relief from 
the solid research & artiness I'm facing in the days/months ahead
 I'm not sure yet how much (if anything) I will post here from the unfolding project
(but you never know!) 

oooo I think this will be acres of fun 
for an overly-stressed creek arteest

I hope your new year also brings you acres of fun & all the good things