top of page

artlands - new views and old ideas

Regional Arts Aust/Artlands

‘invite people to propose opportunities that support and enhance: job creation and skill development, cultural and social infastruckcha and connectivity, collaborations and partnerships, innovation and new thinking, systems change, climate change and different economies’

Intro to new views and old arts 


We appear to be still carrying the same difficulties we have always had in accepting that our 200 yr settlers are not living in european history .. 

that we actually live in our earth's oldest culture-wisdom continent - right round the other side of the world ..  

an ages old continent created with a completely different view of life earth people cosmos living .. compared to that of the explorer settlers - people culturally attuned to go exploring for new pastures, resource, profits, status, business, rubbish, jails .. and carrying the capability to physically enforce the required result


we continue to grapple with the resultant tangle of unresolved business .. 

 one now exacerbated by earth herself’s reacting to (possibly) the exact same problem of imposing ‘absentee’ impositions


Does any of this help us - in looking for new ideas and/or changing old habits ?

of even of being able to approach this particular arts construct - one restricted to terms of jobs, infatruchcha, skill development, tourism .. ?


Our stories rise with living life, creating life stories, engaging life, cosmos, nature .. 

they rise as our arts - the individual skill propensities we are born witn, adopt, adapt, become adept with - in every aspect of life living 


life closer to life flowing energy spirit - sun-shine, attraction and repulsion, appearance, movement, be-ing, love and hate, right and wrong, happy and sad, better or worse, more of less, nature change, climate change, adaption and renewal  

‘nature abhors a vacuum’ - and ‘nature’ includes us ..we cannot live in an world empty of life


Our indigrnous aboriginal peoples never had these imposed problems of semantic differentiation - simply because there never was ever any such conceptualisation (of there being any such ‘separation’ of life from earth - or body from spirit) even possible


traditional life offers several remarkable takes on how we might re-perceive how we come to view life ’together’ .. kinship, relationship, moiety (system of creation paired opposites), mediation (problem solving - talking a problem to death’ basically), ceremony and funeral ~ astonishing as realising what is occurring here ..  

‘care for country’ realised 


all available - and the most engaging of ‘regional arts’ ideas .. the realising the unique character of several hundreds of named, located, respected and interlinked ‘eco system’ places - all existing within ‘big life’ song creation story

a proven model, in place, ever offered .. one of 50,000+ yrs developing of unique ‘language’ 

(ie song story energy) regions

My first visits into ‘arnhemland’ (Yolngu) country revealed feelings (in me) I had never directly experienced before .. looking back, I think they (the feelings) pointed to an inherent ‘generousity of spirit’ intrinsic to the  peoples, the country, the life activating .. a continuous connecting of ‘individual living within universal group spirit 

this feeling has continued and further deepened to this day  

We are needing a re-balancing of our ever push for more stuff, more profit, more business, more consumption .. these are results of entrenched habits, not life-living qualia


2 pointers .. small story 1 

‘creative industries’ paradigm 

‘industry’ - now an economic activity, raw materials, commercial manufacture for markets

and all consuming - of time, earth resource and social earth-life .. 


‘industry’ was also (once) acknowledged as ‘engaging with’ or diligence


‘diligence’ ~ individual persistence or care, assiduous or (best of all definition i’ve heard) our perceiving and living of life as ‘joyful effort’  (KR)


now here’s an intriguing shift .. an ‘old’ paradigm ‘re-branded’ to assist our individually re-considering just what really is of importance in our living our very own lives 


Our life-stories - the stories that we tell ourselves, we relate to life thru’ .. become our life .. 

are located and lived within our selves, within our minds .. 

‘local’ meaning both our physical living environment and our own mental (mind) connecting 

 they surface within our engaged mind activities, are not based on enforced or presumed or ‘taught’ or ‘advertised’ external stuff 


and small story 2 

we re-consider this STEM (science, tech, engines, maths) acronym 


stem ~ simply tending earth mother (mind)


the ‘jobs, work, industry, aspirations, ’norms’ (of acquisition, $s)’ ideas - and the anxiety, insatiable cravings and resultant un-ease, dis-ease, business resulting .. can transform 


joyful effort industry - now of people with earth and life engaging, appreciation and respect 

 - for all earth-life habitats and inhabitants, including our-selves as participants


The institutions (of markets, $, ownerdhip) .. all the stuff we have imposed on our-selves externally, fade in importance as we age - simply because they were never substantive in the first place .. and the moment this is realised, they all start dissolve, naturally 


looking to nature (especially in this country) for the evidential ‘proof’, the practices, the inspirations, the models - enabling the stories and the ‘arts’ we inherently carry within - can become known


‘arts’ equate with ‘skillful means’ .. is human capability intrinsic to us all - we do care for, relate to, respond, stand up, sit, love, fall over, cycle endlessly, engage, sing, dance, garden, share, grow, cook, tell stories, paint painting and ourselves, commune .. 


we are all these and all carry particular propensities for our individually responding to infinite variations

who you are, what you do

I have been listening, learning, thinking, musicking, recording, travelling, considering, writing .. for over 70 years now.

lots of experiences socially, musically, spiritually .. I prefer being older and (sometimes) being able to appraise an event, a situation, an idea .. without reacting quite so much in usual habitual ways. 


My working methodologies and 'life views' have become increasingly co-incident 

I suppose that, as we find the relationships, stories, experiences, sounds, music, nature, culture and philosophies in life .. to which we respond, so it slowly dawns that this whole process might actually be (my) life !


Most of my current interests are to do with broad spiritual philosophy and practice, Aboriginal culture-life and lots of music and sounds making .. all have merged into a daily mix of happy possibilities !


I am approaching the latter periods of my current life .. my need to share is natural, acccepted and enjoyed .. the time now is appropriate and cogent ..  as I am now is accessible, available and is broad and secure 

~ being a summation of all that has been brought here and now - as ‘me’


I am extremely grateful to now have the opportunity afforded to me personally in this life-time to be able to experience (living) ‘within’ (to some mild degree !)

seems this quality might ‘get closer’ to the reality of the welcoming spirit nature inherent to this continent

my story, our story - as all our preceding 50,000+ year stories become coincident .. as they must

engage and collaborate

I have always been attracted to country, nature, sounds, music, stories .. the interweaving of life from bird song, trees, weather, country, special places, peoples, communities, communing .. 

and the myriad ways of depicting and living life thru’ shared experience


I (have come to) ‘see’ life as interwoven earth-life relationship

this view developed over many years thru’ engaging with all kinds of situations, languages, places, arts/skills, work, ideas, intellectual and technical, philosophy .. a very large mix of ‘good’ and not-so-good bits ! 


a big realisation on my part, continues to be that of recognising the ‘place and beauty’ of (small voice) participation .. this lying within our collective mind of (infinite individual) life engagings  

in coming to realise that we all generally do respond to life in so many ways - and here (in particular) we access country, nature and life ‘at work’ 

~ the often heard ‘we love this place, but cannot express this feeling in words’ puzzle .. 

well, here’s a challenge !

engage, respond, learning 

a new situation is ever a new situation .. bit like children playing, finding exploring trying out, trying on, making rules, changing rules, engaging with an immediate ‘here’ 

who knows what is, what is not, let’s see .. 


long experience in life, situations, events, collaborations, change, adaption .. have created programs, stories, images, ideas, workshops, festivals, group, solo, composer, musician, fruit picker, dance class pno player, pub pno player, grave-digger, electronic design and manufacturer, touring bands, self-funded trips/stays learning in yolngu country, productions for radio, film, video, cd, cassettre, chilrens puppets and dance group music, talks, presentations, 

ongoing website development .. 

philosophy study/retreat, ongoing practice and writing, grown great vege garden, milked cows, been broke, travelled a lot


an (unexpected) current interest and response has emerged with the re-release of ‘waak waak djungi’ cd/lp/story - now 20 years after its initial release (1997) .. 

the most heard comment being ‘how come we have never heard of this (aust aboriginal music culture)’ 

change,  opportunities, challenges

Coincidently, both my age and that of regional arts assoc, are the same, 80 yrs, b.1943

both experiencing the same changes in many aspects of life here .. 


both rising together and, as I experienced it growing up .. 

(settler) life stasis, living on land, using, superficial, looking out, external, o/s, the ‘mother country (UK), going home’ ~ my first o/s trip !

result - realising euro was ‘dead’ for me - fixed, distracted, settled into modes of thinking and (in my experience even then) was not engaging


whatever clarity of thought about ‘life’ I might be seeking, it was not going to come from europe   

- but the inklings did appear that it would/could/might be found .. back in the continent of big horizon, big sky, uncluttered view ‘of life’ living .. 


The stories - the relationships we all carry as humans - with earth, with people, with nature and into day-to-day living .. are so developed here .. but developed in terms of living-country - not the social constructs so ‘imposed’


the languages of both the environment and its inhabitants are essentially the same - they emerge from the same sound-energy foundation


this process takes time to evolve (and to realise) .. hence also makes a broader view of life requisite .. one allowing and offering the ‘how and why we might engage our living life’ to become precedent 


As (earth) sound energy is primal and formative in all life, so we can realise the importance and place of story in language and here, particularly, the role of song 


'song' in this context opens into all kinds of (generally ignored) aspects of creation, memory, transmission of knowledge, interlinking of life with planet .. 


and as earth, country, nature and life vary so greatly in place, so the intrinsic formative sounds of particular place are instrumentally informative in its creation and living story


We have as many unique regional sound environment language places as are each identifiable (as ‘small songs’) .. all interwoven thru’ sound language ‘orchestration’ as ‘big song’

seems we do have access to big story in this continent .. 


Whether or not we avail ourselves of the opportunity offered ‘to come share with us’ is accepted - or even comprehended - is up to us individually


seems our entrenched (institutionalised) ideas are beyond changing .. but all institutes are constructed by us, are inhabited by us, people, individual people - and we change our own minds all the time


so we start here, small .. small stories that do allow our own ‘local’ engaging with life directly - not merely the marketed distractions


perhaps in .. 

 - re-considering the role and place of ‘arts’ as stories of relationship ?

 - freeing ourselves from ‘fixed pitch’ stories, music, arts, life-styles, ‘work’, habitual responses ?

 - acknowledging and bringing’ideas’ into ‘public’ space so to facilitate validity ?


finding possible models of dissemination ?

 - radio (‘the pictures are better’) - abc RN ‘reflecting individual regional stories back to the whole continent’

 - internet works - so long as we have computer, electricity, tech capability, $s, interest, can look at screens .. 

 - promote ‘developing regional ‘off-grid’, local, regional self sustaining’ stories - as arts 

 - build local ‘control’ requirement into all programs

 - and here (in this reg arts submission) re-consider the place and real need of the planned canberra conference/discussion !

bottom of page