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What happens when we relax? Part 2

Some quiet moments captured in Canberra at the ephemeral museum in vintage caravans ‘The Museum of the Long Weekend,’ produced by Australia’s leading arts and social change company Big hART.

 

Old memories were relived

Old memories were relived

Rocks were skimmed

Rocks were skimmed

Tales were told

Tales were told

Caravans were cubby houses and were explored

Caravans were cubby houses and were explored

New faces were met

New faces were met

Sunsets were observed and more rocks were skimmed

Sunsets were observed and more rocks were skimmed

Campfires were sat around

Campfires were sat around

Talents were shared, laughs were had, line dances were learnt, songs were sung and weddings occured

Talents were shared, laughs were had, line dances were learnt, songs were sung and weddings occurred

Caravans carried tales from faraway towns

Caravans carried tales from faraway towns

 

Check out more photos on the Museum of the Long Weekend Facebook Page , check out the rest of the blog (more entries below) and keep in touch with Big hART on their Facebook Page.

 

 

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What happens when we relax?

After a big weekend in Canberra, the caravans have continued on their journeys back to all corners of the country, but here’s some of what happened on holiday:

We lay by the water and maybe whispered sweet nothings

We lay by the water and maybe whispered sweet nothings

 

We sung the Macerena (in Spanish) in a karaoke caravan...

We sung the Macerena (in Spanish) in a karaoke caravan…

We probably made toast at some point

We probably made toast at some point

We sat down and leaned back

We sat down and leaned back

We stood around and spoke about cars

We stood around and spoke about cars

We crocheted and taught a new stitch

We crocheted and taught a new stitch

We read the paper and consulted the form guide

We read the paper and consulted the form guide

We found a good spot for an afternoon nap

We found a good spot for an afternoon nap

 

Check out more photos on the Museum of the Long Weekend Facebook Page , check out the rest of the blog (more entries below) and keep in touch with Big hART on their Facebook Page.

 

 

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Meet the Caravans (and their human friends) Part 1

All the convoys have converged on Cowra! We’re open to the public at 5pm so come and say hello at Cowra Van Park! Before we head off to Canberra tomorrow, we thought we’d introduce ourselves!

Jennison Jeff with his 1953 Jennison Pathfinder. It was built by his grandfather, who started building vans commercially in 1930!

Jennison Jeff with his 1953 Jennison Pathfinder. It was built by his grandfather, who started building vans commercially in 1930!

 

Kylie, Archie & Olivia with 'Bubbles' the Bondwood from Adelaide Hills, filled with childhood games!

Kylie, Archie & Olivia with ‘Bubbles’ the Bondwood from Adelaide Hills, filled with childhood games!

 

Greg & Marion from Melton, Victoria, with 'Junee' the 1962 Wanda, named after Gregs mother.

Greg & Marion from Melton, Victoria, with ‘Junee’ the 1962 Wanda, named after Gregs mother.

 

Allan and Irene from Sydney with their Sunliner, born in 1959 and still cruzin!

Allan and Irene from Sydney with their Sunliner, born in 1959 and still cruzin!

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An excerpt from the book their daughter made about their 40 years of caravan adventures!

 

Les & Eve from Adelaide with their late 50s Fiesta. They've owned about 8 vans in their lifetime!

Les & Eve from Adelaide with their late 50s Fiesta. They’ve owned about 8 vans in their lifetime!

 

Laraine & Ralph with their Coronet 1968 Champion. They've owned it for 30 years!

Laraine & Ralph with their Coronet 1968 Champion. They’ve owned it for 30 years!

 

The 1956 Chesney 'The Pacemaker' from Wittlesea, Victoria. It has horsehair cushions and hand painted curtains (see below)!

The 1956 Chesney ‘The Pacemaker’ from Wittlesea, Victoria. It has horsehair cushions and hand painted curtains (see below)!

Beautiful hand painted curtains in The Pacemaker

 

Steve & Maree inside 'Lizzy' the 1966 Viscount Duralvan. It's like a forrest in there!

Steve & Maree inside ‘Lizzy’ the 1966 Viscount Duralvan. It’s like a forrest in there!

 

 

 

 

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Dolphins and Dead Emus in WA

In the next village us novice nomads are once again watched as we reverse the van 5 times and sit in fold out chairs with the bubble wrap still attached. Not that we sit in them much. We laze by a lagoon one day but our minds are slow to stop racing.

We rise early, leave the van and drive another hundred ks to Monkey Mia to see dolphins get fed. On the way we talk about the environment and how we’ve become disconnected. Mid sentence we hit an emu.

It’s not dead yet. It makes it to the side of the road and kicks at crows that know its time will come soon.

We watch a while then jump on our phones, calling rangers and wildlife rescue services hundreds of ks away who can’t help. We are told to call the Shire, but “you might not want to wait around to see what they do to it, love…”

We wait.

I’ve lived through Alice Springs mouse plagues and killed a kangaroo with my car in the Pilbara but Chris herds spiders outside. He wishes he had a shovel or an axe or knife or anything but a rock. We wait some more.

We watch that big bird lie still then kick and try to get up, then lie down again. We wait until the Shire man comes. He takes care of the situation with a crow bar. We drive on in silence.

On a dolphin chasing boat that afternoon we are still. We share small talk and chips with some nice Canadians. Chris stands scouring the horizon. I sit cross-legged in an attempt to meditate but fall to napping pretty quick.

We drive and talk and talk and drive and stop to eat and piss then drive and talk some more and laugh and sometimes sing. We do not cook a single meal and cruise around each night looking for ambient lighting and vegetables on the menu. He bounces on most of the bouncy pillows we find in place of trampolines and whenever we stop he walks or swims or finds a sand dune to run down. We talk, tease, discover and disagree and he sees me at my worst but somehow we get along.

We’re old friends.

We’re on holidays.

We’re on the road.

There are several times I secretly wish I could freeze time and just stop everything and stay, so I say out loud ‘Well if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’

 

Chris asleep at the delightfully calm Jurien Bay, where 4 out of 5 people on the jetty will say g'day

Chris asleep at the delightfully calm Jurien Bay, where 4 out of 5 people on the jetty will say g’day

 

-Elspeth

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Manta Rays, Mate Waves and Whitney

 

I’ve been on the road for a week now.

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In one week we have snorkelled with Manta Rays, met dolphins, lost a wallet, sung, said too much, opened up, thrown a tantrum, stargazed and giggled, traded advice for play fight pinches, driven 2129 kilometres, found a wallet and killed an emu.

Old mate Chris flew in from Canberra right into the heart of the mining boom, emerging wide eyed from the sea of high vis at Karratha airport. I’d forgotten to tell him that his holiday was gunna be a part of this big museum thing and that we (mostly he) would be towing 750 kgs worth of vintage caravan behind us the whole way to Perth…

After a screening, the next morning we (mostly I) packed the van and farted around. Once on the road we quickly slipped into roles. Roebourne way, the men bring the guns and chop the wood out bush, the women prepare the food. In our car, the man holds the keys and doesn’t stop until Nanutarra Roadhouse/Geraldton/whatever destination is at least 100 ks away. The woman loses the keys and wants to stop for toilets or food or photographs.

 

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On that first day we drove over 600 kilometres to Coral Bay. Chris tallied responses to the mate wave – the old two fingers off the steering wheel that can excuse the slowest of drivers.

We talk about Roebourne, about who we are, progress, family, capitalism, faith in art and karma and Lennon.

We listen to Paul Kelly, Crowded House, America, Dylan and Springsteen but driving through the darkness it was singing stuff like this at the top of our lungs that really got us there:  

 

 

That first morning the caravan park was in full swing by the time I got back from my morning jog along the beach. The village awoke with the sun. Gaggles of kids rode bikes, made plans, jumped on bouncy pillows, kicked footies and toddled too far from their tall humans.  A couple my age walked passed with skinny jeans and takeaway coffees. I guess hipsters holiday too, it’s not all grey nomads and families.

“There’s a lot of neighbours here,” a small child said.

We lie in the sun for a while, then splash out on a snorkeling tour and hang out with some majestic Manta Rays, marveling at that whole other world that exists down there – landscapes and fish where there’s so much unknown.

That night a couple of kids cuddle under blankets at another screening. I don’t bother shouting over the freezing wind about the project, just let the films bewilder and enchant on their own.

 

Kids in Coral Bay watch short films about kids from Roebourne, like this guy, who launched an interactive comic in South Korea... See the full film here: https://vimeo.com/52725073

Kids in Coral Bay watch short films about kids from Roebourne, like this guy, who launched an interactive comic in South Korea… See the full film here: https://vimeo.com/52725073

 

The wind makes me uneasy and kids unsettled.

We’re always driving or doing, ticking things off the ‘stuff to see’ list- after all, we could die tomorrow.

We knock off another couple of hundred ks to Hamelin Station.

It’s still windy but at least we are almost alone.

That night we looked at stars and opened hearts and the universe expanded and contracted but basically stayed the same.

 

 

-Elspeth

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Filming in Roebourne

Greetings from the Pilbara!

Over here where the desert meets the sea we’ve been busy covering the walls of our caravan with beautiful portraits and collecting stories on film. Our yet-to-be-named caravan sets off Saturday on an epic journey of over 5,000 kilometres, screening films and sharing stories in caravan parks along the way!

We’ll be at the Harding River Caravan Park this Friday at 6pm, then at Bayview Coral Bay Caravan Park on Sunday 29th.

Before we head off, here’s some photos of what we’ve been doing so far:

We pulled up on the main street in Roebourne, between the shop and the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Foundation…

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… and invited people like Gary from Ngarda Radio to come and share their holiday stories. That’s Tyson from Weerianna Street Media filming and Cav on sound poking his head through.

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Tracy told us about NEARLY catching a goanna while on a road trip

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Then we went decided to have a long weekend on a Wednesday, and went out bush for a cook up with Allery and her family.

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Alec arrived at dusk to share stories and Johnny Cakes.

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Aileen showed me and Maxie how to chop the roots for good firewood out at East Harding River.

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The Roebourne caravan is a collaboration between Weerianna Street Media and the Yijala Yala Project. For more photos and videos check out icampfire.tv and yijalayala.bighart.org

Photography by Martina Lang. Words by Elspeth.

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