Underbelly Arts 17 – Collaboration Project – Eden NSW


Nestled amongst the trees and shrubs on the edge of the ocean is the town of Eden. As you wind through the roads approaching town you are given snippets of lush flora that sets the tone for the landscape you are about to experience. When the tree line breaks you are immediately take by the views of sun kissed mountains that seamlessly sink into the bays and rivers that run through them.

It’s not often you come to a view like this that is undisturbed by skyscraper holiday apartments. Initially Eden is one in a million spot yet to be touch by the commercial hand, surrounded in gorgeous views and sweet small stores with friendly faces. What you then discover once peeling back a layer is the rarity of what this gem is. Culturally Eden is extremely rich and surprising at every turn. You could spend a long time in Eden getting lost in its complex history.

During our walk on the Bundigan Way I was immediately effected by its sense of welcoming. As an Indigenous person, I find it extremely important to tune into the landscape and its people and sense my place in it. I felt quite at home which is odd for a fresh water girl standing in the sand of the South Coast.

Our guide Les provided some very insightful information on the area traditionally and in a contemporary context. My imagination was taken by the stories of corrobboree from both Les and John and I thought about how these ceremonies made sense of the daily routines of these people and made their everyday tasks and creations into art and a sense of identity. It seemed to me that everything related back to those special moments and I kept this in mind as I continued to walk.

The group worked naturally so well together which made this adventure a peacefully and enjoyable one. It was a privilege to walk along and know that you were in the company of people who appreciated this experience of nature, culture and adventure just as much as you.

During my walks I paid close attention to what was below me on the ground. I began collecting rocks and shells taken by the various colours and how they were affected by the sunlight. I felt like a bower bird and hoped that the ancestors would be happy with me collecting from their country. I continued to find more and more and took this as my tick of approval from them.

The most interesting feature of Eden was the country’s ability to change in Touraine and energy. Each bay seemed to have its own personality. From shrubs, slow lapping waves, rocky shores to grey, dry bushland that vibrated the sense of secrets and clay shards bleeding colour into the clear waters filled with oyster covered rocks. You can’t help but see why this place was home to so many.

Sitting on the beach I felt a sense of warmth, a feeling of total piece and pride. I feel that Eden and its beaches transported me into the feelings ad memories of those who stood there before me. I felt I was a part of a larger feeling that told me that this is the Eden we all fell in love with.

I can’t wait to develop my work and to visit Eden again!


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