Ruby Gap Reunion at Belbora NSW

 In June 2012 participants on our Ruby Gap camp had such a wonderful time together that they planned a reunion later that same year at the property of Alex McKay and Jerri McElroy (camp participants) at Belbora, near Gloucester in NSW. People came from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Glass House Mountains, and of course Charlie and I were there too. We had a wonderful weekend of painting, eating and reconnecting.  Such fun it was, that five of those same lovely folk came with us again for another dose of Ruby Gap magic, this year, 2014. Once again, we reconvened at Belbora in November, for another weekend of painting, play, and shear gluttony.

The name of Alex and Jerri’s property is Terra Mater, the experience of being there lives up to its name in every way; generous, beautiful, and embracing. It is high on a hill overlooking an enchanting vista of changing light, green hills, mountains and clouds.  There is no shortage of inspiration, right there, through the huge windows. The house is like a gallery, open plan with plenty of wall space covered with Jerry’s assemblages.  Her work is ingenious, quirky, and bold. She utilises objects and materials sourced from her travels around the globe, and I might add, Central Australia. Though her work is playful, full of extraordinary characters from the pantomime of life, some works decry political outrage in a muffled scream, while others hold the stillness of spirituality, all is infused with poetry and Jerri’s very special joi de vivre.

Filed under: Artwork, News

The Light Fantastic, Running Waters, September 2014

Here are the results of some of the entertaining, if not thrilling, night time photographic escapades of Jude Wagner and her troupe of willing participants, on the Running Waters Creative Camp, September 2014.

Filed under: News

Running Waters September 2014

Our last camp of the season! A wonderful mix of long time participants, new folk and an old friend from another life, it was great! Some days were a bit warm but there was enough shade in the marquee and under the river gums, with plenty of dips in the waterhole, for all to survive, with hardly a complaint. People did fabulous work, so the ‘show and tell’ on the last afternoon was very exciting.  Jude Wagner, such a bright light herself, entertained us in the evening with all kinds of antics using camera and torches, sparklers and glow tubes, much of which was participatory. Hal Pratt, sixth time camper and consummate drawer, showed us another aspect of  his creative self as he played with the light too, adding much to the outcome of Jude’s photographic sessions.  We were also ‘entertained’ by horses and bulls in the night. I know we are not meant to love the brumbies, but it was very hard not to as they meandered across the pink clay pan at dawn, new foal in tow.  I took along my new creative tool, a quadcopter with Go pro, and had several early morning flights. But I sent the brumbies galloping across the clay pan in fright, as I tried (fairly unsuccessfully)  to video them. Anyway why rave one, I’ll show you what this great camp was all about… just click on the first image to go to the slideshow of full size images.

Filed under: News

A different view of Ruby Gap

Chris Collister, a photographer living in the south of France with his wife, printmaker, Ros Marchant, came with us to Ruby Gap in August.  Chris usually works exclusively in black and white, so the rich colour of Ruby  posed a few questions, and perhaps challenges.  It was certainly a very different environment to his current home or the UK where he hales from.  Following are a selection of his works from the camp, sent from France this week. I’m sure you will agree they are evocative and beautiful in black and white though it seems he succumbed to the colour on at least a couple of occasions. Congratulations Chris on this wonderful work!

Filed under: News

Ruby Gap Creative Camp August 2014

Our last camp at Ruby Gap was wonderful,  as it always is. Really felt like coming home after our recent time in the unfamiliar territory of the Kimberley ( which was amazing certainly, see our last post).  But Ruby is just as beautiful!  Waking below those high cliffs in the night with a million stars above, drifting back to sleep as Scorpio slides into the cleft and waking again to birdsong as the morning light paints the cliffs:


“At daybreak the cliff-face turns a richer, deeper red!” “Who’s Richard Deepa?”

Dawn! A secretive and unassuming chap,
Richard Deepa, comes to Ruby Gap.

The Keeper of the Colours – none but he
May choose these pleasures for our eyes to see.

The high escarpment blushes by his will;
He marks the deep recesses with his quill;

He paints the golden ship that sails the sky,
And misty veils, that changing catch the eye.

And sunbeams, colours, shadows overlap
When Richard Deepa comes to Ruby gap.

And we who wake to rise from warm bed-roll,
Sense in the stillness of the dawn – the soul made whole.

by Elsbeth Murphy (who came with us to Ruby Gap in July last year).

The group this time included some prodigious and diverse talent too. Stephen O’Connell, CEO of the Murray Conservatorium of Music, gave us a wonderful concert.  David Brownscombe treated us to a reading from the novel he was working on. Chris from the south of France shared black and white photography of his very different world… and daily we delighted in the work the rest of us created in response to Ruby Gap, including a wonderful print making session using our big truck, ‘The Don’, as the press.  Here are some photos:

Filed under: News