March, 4 2010
Karijini National Park, Hancock Gorge
Mags Webster

We go to Hancock Gorge, its cliffs tiled with bruise-coloured plates of stone and shale. Distant sound of water far below. We listen to the music of the land, we osmose into its soundscape. I'm standing under a gum tree which is humming with squadrons of bees. I hear a two-tone music, the sound of water rush and also the sound of water fall. I write down words like stereophonic, surround sound, quadraphonic. How absurd, mechanical and inadequate they are to describe the mighty voice of this place.

Rivulets of ants traversing up and down the pallid trunk of the gum tree. I look at the ground for a moment and it is alive with movement. I look out from the tree, and the force of the colour in front of me make me think of a Fred Williams painting, Iron Ore Landscape. Later I will discover that his last great series of paintings drew their inspiration from the Pilbara, a place that reportedly 'tired and excited him profoundly'.

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