Awe & Wonder – Patterns, Pathways & Mapping the Otherworld Workshop

The second Awe & Wonder in Nature art workshop was held last weekend in the Strathbogie Ranges. Patterns, Pathways & Mapping the Otherworld was hosted by Sim Ayres who led participants on a journey of pattern recognition and map making.

Sitting around the fire, the day began with a heartfelt acknowledgement of Country and Taungurung Peoples, then an exercise to drop in and feel the surrounds.

Sim shared his artistic process of representing country and space, within the concept of mapping but not necessarily creating a map as such. People were invited to go for a wander with pencil and paper, find a tree – then feel all around, above and below the ground and create a story of the wider picture.

Bushwalkers, landcarers, artists and also people with little art experience travelled from Boho South, Euroa, Ruffy, Bogie, Nagambie, Gembrook and as far flung as Canada to attend this event. Many came because they love Sim’s artwork and all expressed a desire to connect with the Strathbogie bush.

After lunch, more drawing took place on Mt. Wombat, where everyone walked into this other world – to a special solitary spot, with fresh child-like eyes. They perched high up on granite boulders, in dense bracken and under trees, where many great artworks emerged.

Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network organisers consider this workshop a great success, as the aim of the project is to provide opportunities for people to connect more deeply with their environment. All those attending expressed gratitude for the day’s gifts and the pathways created to their renewed wonder for this magnificent country.

Carol Crowe