quiet place

Quiet Times and Places
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What's New:

A Wild and Personal Encounter with Beauty

by Kerry Press

I recently returned from a trip to the Flinders Ranges. The moods and colours of nature in that mythical landscape remain fresh in my mind. As with each trip I’ve made to the Flinders I was again entranced by the soft purple and indigo hues of the mountain ranges that ripple across the horizon, and by the smudgy blue greys of the saltbush, and the dark green Xmas tree shapes of the native Cypress trees contrasting strongly with the luminous bright green balls of the Emu bushes. The sky so intensely and infinitely blue, and the weathered rocks glowing deep orange and magenta. I walked along dry rivers of stones – each stone unique in colour, shape and texture, revealing stories of long and ancient journeys through the centuries as they rolled between old gnarled river red gums filled with colourful parrots.

 Each of my encounters in wild places brings me fully alive – all of my senses completely attuned and receptive, as though a primal instinct deep within me that lies dormant in the city, is awoken from its dream. It’s a primal thing in each of us I think. This instinctive sensual calling of nature to our souls. On some level I think we all yearn to be closer to nature.

 At the same time I couldn’t help but see, and grieve for, the enormous loss of nature that is occurring in every moment, in every place, much gone forever. Until we depart for the country from our urban landscapes we don’t see this – numerous roos and wallabies killed by speeding cars, the degradation caused by years of overgrazing and poor land management, the loss of habitat for small creatures as a result of widespread removal of timber, the effects of a drought that has quietened the morning chorus of the birds.

 I have returned to city life, with its rushing cars, computers, hard structures and surfaces and clamouring noise and crowdedness. But it is those rich images of beauty from wild places that sustain me – for a while at least, until the next escape: I can still see and feel the iridescent flash of violet from a butterfly’s wings, a wedgetail soaring across a pale morning moon, the silvery stillness of forest bathed in moonlight, the palette of desert colours whose intensity changes as the sun moves across the sky... These images replenish me and inspire my work with colours, pattern, art and spirit. (In fact it was the shiny red stems and powdery blue leaves of a mallee eucalypt and the spirals of a tiny vine that were the inspiration for Spirit of Design’s own business card and logo, from an earlier trip into the Flinders Ranges.)

 These trips into wilderness keep me connected with the essence of aliveness and the ultimate motivation for my work; to enhance people’s experience of both their inner and outer worlds, and to connect people more deeply to the spirit of the earth, so that they too can live with peace and beauty in each moment.

To stay in touch with beauty in everyday life is to stay connected to our instincts and to those things that really matter in the world. From a place of beauty in our hearts we can truly make a difference.