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Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

December 27, 2016

I put my first pedal down in anger on August 4, 2016, almost five months later I crossed the finish line in a small town in Victoria on the Glenelg River. From Eucla to Nelson, over 4500 kilometres in the saddle and a world apart in landscape and even further apart in my mindset. The only similarity perhaps is the fact that I was hooting and hollering for my first few metres and doing the same over my last, just with relief and fatigue in my voice. I took off with little fanfare and finished with less, met at the finish line by my good friend and photographic artist Nat Rogers and of course my girls, Myf and Juno.

 

I was exhausted, sore and ready to finish the physical element of LAND SEA YOU ME. The numbers read a little like this;

 

4500 odd kms 

7 punctures

1 tyre

14 kilograms lost

12,197 photographs made

4 lenses

110 nights in my tent

2 nights on a couch

3 nights in a hostel

6 nights in a bed

1 night in a BP motel

2 nights in a bus

8 butane gas canisters

2 pairs of thongs

1 pair of sneakers

1 Bombtrack Beyond

2 flights in a plane

2 flights in a helicopter

4 sharks

3 peninsulas

200+ snakes

 

I've endured one of the worst winters in living memory, sheltered in my tent in the warm embrace of the South Australian dunes. It has been a personal battle, physically, emotionally and artistically, exactly what we set out to achieve. I've met some wonderful people, been housed and fed and entertained. I've heard some oral histories, some bullshit no doubt mixed in there too, I've heard some crackling lightning, some unbelievable thunder, some roaring surf, and some horrid winds. I've heard some tales, many tall and many short. I've sat around the campfire with old friends and new, in new lands and old landscapes. I've seen fire, I've seen rain. I've smelt the Australian bush under a searing sun, the salt from the sea, I've smelt the stench of death, of decay, of mud, of sweat.  I've been broken time and time again and hopped back in the saddle and kept on, starting slowly and working my way back into a groove.

 

I've had some extraordinarily beautiful days in the saddle, flying along the trail, wind in the hair, sun on the back, birds in the sky. Downhill finishes to camp with music blaring, singing along with not a soul in sight and hopefully not in earshot. I've setup camp to watch and hear the day's end from the comfort of my tent, the infinite television screen in front of me playing a slow dance of colour and shape accompanied by the sounds of shore birds and the raging sea. As the night crept in, the volume was turned up until I was enveloped in a cacophony or occasionally a symphony. Timeless sounds and sights, no doubt what you would have experienced centuries ago and hopefully still in a century's time. 

 

 

I've walked on beaches where no footprints exist, I've ridden over tracks overgrown for years, I've heard the tree fall in the woods. I've been shown the beauty of the South Australian land, the sea and her people. I've fallen, I've flown and I've dived. I've bled, smiled, laughed and cried. Now to begin the long artistic journey of putting together the exhibition and write the book. I'm excited for the next phase, arguably the hardest and most gruelling for an artist. To distill LAND SEA YOU ME into a tome and series of photographs monumentalised on a wall. 

 

Thanks for joining me so far and stay tuned as I take you through my processes of choosing the photographs to make the pages of the book and exhibition. 

 

Cheers as always,

Che.

 

You can secure your copy of the LAND SEA YOU ME book here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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