Susan Buret, Northward Aspiration, © 2010, acrylic and paper on gessobord, four panels 31 cm x 31 cm.
I am in one of the studios at the Bundanon trust property after receiving a last minute invitation for a residency and to help with a schools workshop.
I was last here in 2008 and, as Bundanon and the surrounding Shoalhaven area have a special place in my heart, I jumped at the chance to return. I piled as much of my studio as would fit into the back of my car and drove down the escarpment and along the slippery muddy track to arrive on Monday morning. After spending two days working with the students from Bombaderry High School, I am now working in my studio.
There is something extraordinary about this place which allows one to focus without any disruptions. I feel privileged to be the beneficiary of the Boyd family's generosity where the beautiful setting, no mobile, no television and crackling radio reception leave only the internet as a diversion.
The top two images are the views from my studio window; one towards the pastures and the other towards the native bush that covers most of the Bundanon property.
Since being here I have been working on Northward Aspiration. Using a section of an old map of the world which includes Africa, the Middle East, India and Europe, I have cut airplanes and pasted them over a damask inspired pattern.
The old map shows a colonial Africa divided between Britain, France Germany and Italy and I was thinking about how the inhabitants of the poorer nations of the south often moved north in the hope of a better life. The immigrants were screened and often refused entry to these countries where, paradoxically, the affluent were happy to adorn their homes with patterns borrowed from the very southern cultures they wished to exclude.