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Murrary Darling Basin Commision Australian National University

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Goobarragandra Story: Part 4 – The Plunge (Draft)

Wednesday 7th May, mid-afternoon. I had passed through the locality of Lacmalac and would soon arrive at our Field Study base at Camp Hudson. Good to be back, I said out loud, as if the Goobarragandra had extended a personal welcome. Wooo-there, steady on, I said so I could hear myself again, it’s only a river. Immediately I realised my mistake. What had happened to me since I was last here? Why shouldn’t this charming river welcome me? More extraordinary things had already transpired between us.

Lacmalac come Goobarragandra Road deftly follows the inclination of the valley and in its own willful way works the contours as a skateboarder would do in a concrete drain. The road demands driver concentration for the sake of safety but little thought is required for navigation. There are good opportunities for driver dreaming. The road’s singular purpose is to deliver the traveler to a desired point somewhere along its 30 kilometre length – a turn north into the hills, a homestead driveway, a paddock gate, a track south to access the river.

The Goobarragandra River was well stocked with water freshly harvested by the lanceolate leaves of mountain gums. Beyond the peaks I could see the river’s next allocation. I wondered if some of the gathering molecules of vapor had been down the river before.


Next allocation, Goobarragandra River 

I passed the vicinity of the ‘deep hole’. (See Post ‘Goobarragandra Story: Part 3’ in Archive / April). I felt my pulse press against the soft glove of the steering wheel. It quickened. The palms of my hands became moist. If it were not for the wheel’s corrugations I would have lost my grip. Welcome back, I said out loud, symptoms of performance anxiety. The prospect of plunging into the heart of the Goobarragandra River made me shiver like the thought would of facing a hangman.

Engaging Visions documentary photographer, Dean Sewell, was waiting at the Camp gate. Good to be back, he said. I was especially appreciative of the empathy. I had requested that Dean photograph my plunge into the deep hole amid his commitments to record other artists at work. I would install my camera to operate remotely a little further down stream from my point of entry. We had ample time to plan our respective procedures.

Before I entered the fibro cloisters of Hudson’s camp I paused to look along the valley. The hills were topped with the ginger light of the late afternoon. Like a row of country cousins they bore witness to our gathering. Artists progressively assembled – staking claims in the bunkhouse, boiling vegetables in the kitchen, laughing around the fire and later intimidated into silence by legions of stars marshaled by the night to defy reason. Water temperature, I thought in an attempt to stay Earth bound, would clearly be an issue.


Thursday 8th May. Janet French was selling her canoe. Mistaken for buyers as we trudged up her garden path we were there, actually, out of interest in her basket making and her local knowledge. Where, I eventually asked, are the deep sections of the Goobarragandra River? A map that would do was within reach. The first stroke of the pencil encompassed the deep hole I had identified. The second marked a passage through a granite outcrop further upstream – a site that I had not visited.  You won’t need a canoe, Janet remarked, just good walking boots. What is your size?


Friday 9th May. 7.15am Dean records my plunge into the deep hole, Goobarragandra River. My camera is installed approximately 100 metres down stream and set to expose every 10 seconds for a one hour period in the hope of recording, in at least one frame, my ‘wild’ portrait released as a gift to the river from the extremity of the dive. (See Post ‘Goobarragandra Story: Part 3’ in Archive / April).


Plunge 1 (a) 


Plunge 1 (b)


Wild Portrait for the Goobarragandra River. Approx 100m downstream from Plunge 1


Saturday 10 May 11.00 am Second plunge. Dean Sewell documentation, Goobarragandra River. My camera is again installed down stream to capture my wild portrait for the river but fails to record any appearance.


Plunge 2 (a)


Plunge 2(b) 


Goobarragandra River. Approx 50m downstream from Plunge 2

Allan’s Backyard Colour Studies












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Tumut Field Trip 3: Artwork in Progress


 Kate Enzenauer Field Study

 First work in an anticipated series of 5 field drawings in Brungle, Adelong and Tumut.


 Kate Enzenauer Field Study Detail


 Karen Tran Untitled 1


 Karen Tran Untitled 2


 Karen Tran Untitled 3


 Elain Mc Greggor Research images for tea towel design


 Carolyn Young Preliminary Survey, Goodradigbee River Wildlife Reserve


 Felicity Green Metalic visual references for abstract paintings No 1


 Felicity Green Metalic visual references for abstract paintings No 2


 Felicity Green Metalic visual references for abstract paintings No 3

Artists at work (Part Two)











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Artists at work









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