This is a Still Life image that I made earlier this year, based on the book Tracks which I purchased in 2014 at a Writer’s Festival in Byron. We were privileged to hear Robyn Davidson talk about her perilous journey across 2,700 km of hostile Australian desert to the sea, with only four camels and her dog Diggity for company. That journey in 1977 took her from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. We had already seen the movie (now on Netflix) and I felt like Robyn was an old friend.
She spoke about her experiences and mentioned she was not on a mission to conquer the environment but rather to be a part of it.
She made us aware that trip could never be recreated again, not just because we now live in a hyper connected world with our smart phones and GPS but also because of the need to obtain permits, write a blog, obtain funding and be in constant contact. I also remember she said, ” there is no such thing as too much freedom, only not enough courage.”
Back in 2014, Robin spoke about how our way of life has made it impossible for us to get lost and that we were completely manipulated by our consumer culture. How much truer is that today. But there was something else she mentioned that really stuck with me. She said she could only call a place home if she could escape it. Remembering that sends goose bumps down my spine now.
Perhaps that’s why I called this image ‘Dreaming of Escaping’.
“To be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble. It is not safe. I had learnt to use my fears as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks” ~Robyn Davidson, Tracks