‘Hyper connected political tragics will know the results of the latest Newspoll have been thundering through the digisphere since late last night.’ That’s the wonderful Katharine Murphy in the Guardian this morning, limbering up for a full day of surreal goings-on in Parliament. Hyper-connected political tragics: that is the Making and Thinking household in a nutshell, for whom politics has been bread and butter since its formation. Breakfast involves a dissection of the morning’s headlines. Domestic conflict can generally be resolved by an appeal to solidarity against the common enemy, usually the government of the day. One resident has actually programmed their mobile phone to ring a little chime when any particularly dramatic news comes in. Massacre in Turkey… double dissolution in Canberra… so important to be one of the first ones to know.
Things are not often made in the Making and Thinking household, apart from the sewing obsession of the last few years. When the fabric of the house needs work, experts are called on for help. When something wears out, it’s replaced rather than repaired.
There are other ways of being in the world. Driving down to Wilsons Prom, we stopped off in Fish Creek and discovered a workshop / gallery full of recycled tin and timber, offering floor lamps, vases, jewellery, huge carved animals, furniture… and an open workshop, through which visitors are welcome to stroll.
The place is packed with tools, jars of nails and screws and found materials ranging from bright sheets of plastic to a massive iron chain that must once have held a ship at anchor. The artist moves between workshop and gallery, followed by his dogs.
We came away with a piece of tin that has been rusted to make an Australian outback landscape: red earth and a bleached sky.
Back home, with a long round of major domestic repairs almost complete, I measure up our newly constructed tin and timber shed for shelving. The builder thought it would be best to hang shelves from the walls; I thought we could buy ready-made metal shelves that would stand on their own four feet. He was right, of course. None of the ready-made shelves will fit the awkward spaces of our lovely new shed. We will have to ask him, very nicely, if he could possibly come back. If all goes well, we will end up with a big dry space in which to store camping gear, garden tools, our small collection of hammers, drills, screwdrivers and so on, and several bikes. But it won’t be a workshop like the one in Fish Creek. That would take a lifetime of learning.
Andrew McPherson’s work is on display at http://ridethewildgoat.com.au/. He can be contacted at 5 Falls Road, Fish Creek, Victoria 3959.