Our first Writing Teachers Sydney meeting was held on Saturday, February 4 at the State Library. In organising this event, the idea of engaging with the ‘unknown’ Amaze Gallery was appealing. We began by exploring the first floor galleries with displays on May Gibbs – Celebrating 100 Years and Planting Dreams: Grand Garden Designs that led to Amaze. These varying exhibits added an unexpected dimension to our writing.
While I have always delighted in Gibbs whimsy, I was drawn to the large format photographs of garden vistas. The oddly angled walls created the feeling of being within a maze, and offered ongoing moments of surprise. I immediately felt calm and cool in this space, yet thought I should at least wander through other exhibits before returning to reflect on the garden near Tenterfield titled Eagles Bluff.
I was compelled by the crystal clear boundaries, spear shapes and gravel. Foreground, jade, grey, eucalypt and shrubbery.
Sharing words and ideas: majestic landscape and lone eagle gliding on updraughts. Rolling hills folding into the valley, warmth enfolding. Shaggy aged crevice.
Being in a library space, our stem for free writing was
I read …
The colours and words from the garden found their way into my musing on book covers and how effective they are in attracting readers.
Having repeated similar activities three times in a different space with different writers, the endless possibilities of free writing in allowing the unexpected to bubble to the surface cannot be underestimated. Each space also provides its own ambience: here, despite being in the Flinders Room with a closed door, we were admonished by a security guard and told to be quiet.
* image from http://being30.com/8-free-wifi-spots-sydney/