August, 31 2012
Port Hedland
John Elliott
Photography

Diana

 

My name is Diana Rae Boyd, I was born in Cowra, Central New South Wales but Newcastle is pretty much home because my family is there. I have a 92 year old Grandma; she’s there with Mum and Dad, and my daughter. This is my second stint to Hedland, we’ve been here for two years come October, it has gone so fast. The first time, the kids were little and we made friends really quickly through school and sporting groups, I recognise people’s faces from being here before, but there’s not a lot. We came to Hedland because we wanted to offer an adventure for the kids, we had a few friends who were living in Gove at the time and we wanted to do something similar.

The first time we went back to NSW, I was not ready to leave, because I had this humongous network of friends. There are a set of mountains just out near Marble Bar, and I cried until those mountains, I was just really sad to leave. When I’d see the Pilbara on the telly, it was like; oh I want to go back there. I just thought we’d left such a lot of ourselves behind, the whole place got in our bones, I feel like I can be myself here.  Anyway we’ve arrived back again. This time, my son, Scott followed and three other boys turned up with him, they camped in the backyard for a couple of weeks, and then one was sleeping in their car. It was a full house, it was chockers. We just had people everywhere, eventually they left and now it’s just back to my husband Paul and I, Scott and his girlfriend, Annelies.

I’ve been through seven positions since I’ve been in Hedland, the first job I had was in an office, in this tiny little donga, and I lasted three weeks there. And then I was with BHP Billitonfor about 9 months, it was a great job but I’m not an office person, I felt I was a caged bird, literally and I would put my diary under my arm and I’d pop around the gardens to pick frangipanis, I would spend my time drawing birds. Finally, after eight or nine jobs, my husband said, just stop working.

Now, I’m just totally into my art, that’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do. Even as a little girl, I only got tins of paints for Christmas, I never wanted to play sport all I wanted to do was paint or craft. I’m assembling found twigs and sticks, and bits and pieces; I’m doing a lot of recycled work. I’m going out into the bush and collecting Spinifex and grass, and feathers, and bits of drift wood and attaching it to card which goes under a box frame. If I find some interesting wood, it turns into a bird. I walk along the river bed and pick up the most amazing roots and bits and pieces. I’m not making a huge amount of money but the encouragement I’m getting from everyone is great. I sell at the FORM markets and people turn up to buy my work; people who can and can’t afford what I’ve got, all tell me they love it.  I’m finally getting recognised for what I really want, and need to do.

I can’t go a day without picking something up and doing something. The inspiration is the open spaces, the, different light and the sky. I love going to Titchila, right out at the other end of De Grey Station, it’s absolutely pristine, the most gorgeous place. It’s towards Broome, down a dirt track for about an hour, it’s pretty bumpy, but you come out and there are Mangroves and a creek on one side and a stretch of beach on the other. I love going out picking things.

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