Cloudcatchers Ginko No.43 (spring)

Thursday Plantation, Ballina NSW

Thursday 13 October 2016

In spite of the ginko being held in the middle month of spring, there was a cool wind at the tea tree plantation. Nine poets, two of them experiencing a ginko for the first time, gathered at this venue on the outskirts of Ballina. Here an ancient rainforest remnant has become a site for sculptural installations, creating an intriguing composite of natural and man-made objects: the strangler figs so old, so huge; the vines so long, so high; and the art works at times incongruous among them.

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Left to Right: Bev Dhnaram, Nathalie Buckland, John Bird, Quendryth Young, Richard Rowland, Helen Payne, Helen Davison, Karla Rojo, Norma Watts.

A hedge maze, adjacent to the forest, adds another dimension to the scenic phenomena, and all of these elements featured in observations recorded during our silent wanderings. The nippy breeze drove us into the Visitors’ Centre to write around a large table, followed by the sharing of these first drafts.

We were delighted to have our patron, our guru John Bird, with us to add a few comments based on his vast knowledge and years of experience as a student of the genre. How blessed we are!

The camaraderie continued through lunch; a subsequent Round Robin is now well under way.

Report by Quendryth Young