Australia

Gundagai by Liesl Pfeffer

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Gundagai, New South Wales
February 2018

I split the 12 hour drive from Hill End to Melbourne into two days, and stopped pretty much halfway home in the outback town of Gundagai. I arrived at dusk, set up my tent by the river, and walked into town for an eggplant parma and a gin and tonic. After a month of cooking all my own meals, it was rather wonderful. 

Sofala Show by Liesl Pfeffer

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Agricultural Show, Sofala
New South Wales, Australia
February 2018

On my last day at the Hill End Artist Residency I drove half an hour to Sofala to visit their annual agricultural show. I won a chocolate hazelnut cake, a rhubarb chutney and a jar of honey for $10 in the cake auction. The shaky handwriting on the labels just about broke my heart. 

Haefligers Cottage by Liesl Pfeffer

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Hill End Artist Residency, NSW
Australia
February 2018

I spent the month of February living alone in this absolute dream of a worker's cottage built 150 years ago around the time of the gold rush. The whole house and studio were mine to sit, read, make and cook within. It was a magic time for me, listening to the birds eating in the fruit trees, saying hello to the kangaroos on my way to and from the outdoor toilet and going for long walks through the bush at the end of a day in the studio. I worked on cyanotypes on fabric using found native flora, and made ten new abstract collages from photographs. 

The time there was a fire by Liesl Pfeffer

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Hill End, NSW
Australia
February 2018

One Saturday afternoon whilst gazing out my studio window lost in thought, I noticed smoke in the distance, glowing red where it touched the horizon. For the first time in my life I called the fire brigade, knowing this was peak summer, peak fire season in the bush. Turned out the fire was 18 km away, which is little comfort when you live in a town that's at the end of a single lane road through the bush, an hour's drive from anything. But also comforting, because that's still a long way, long enough to be able to have a plan to get out early. So I hiked up to my favourite look out and watched the smoke for a while, and for the rest of the weekend I constantly monitored the NSW Rural Fire Department's Fires Near Me website. Blackened leaves fell down on the town, but nothing worse reached us, and the sunsets were especially beautiful for a few days.

The time it rained by Liesl Pfeffer

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Hill End Artist Residency, NSW
Australia
February 2018

I can almost smell the rain still when I look at these photographs. The rain came suddenly on a very hot day. The kangaroos in my garden were soaked, and the birds disappeared for a little while. 

Cedar Creek Falls by Liesl Pfeffer

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Cedar Creek Falls
Tambourine Mountain, Queensland
December 2017

Mum drove Nico and I out to Tambourine so she could have lunch with a friend there. We walked down to the falls on Cedar Creek and had an ice cold swim. It was so crowded that there was nowhere for me to discretely change into my swimsuit, so I swam in my tee shirt and undies like a kid. 

Border Ranges by Liesl Pfeffer

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Border Ranges National Park, New South Wales
December 2017

On the second last night of the year, Nico and I camped at Sheepstation Creek in the Border Ranges. There was some kind of plague of grasshoppers chirruping loudly at the camp site, in a synchronised racket that crescendoed every fifteen seconds into an earsplitting note. I had to wear ear plugs the whole time. 

Picnic at Johanna by Liesl Pfeffer

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Johanna Beach, Victoria
November 2017

A few days after I finished my honours degree, Khaleda, Nico and I set off for a weekend of camping by the beach four hours west of Melbourne. I spent most of the weekend lying in the tent reading, watching native birds, talking and being quiet. This is my favourite beach in the whole world.