Growing up and looking for "rocks"
Dad’s idea of fun was spending days on end out bush fossicking for gemstones. Mum, my brother and I had a different opinion on that. Still dad insisted on taking us on a family trip to a popular fossicking field, most of the time in the middle of nowhere. As kids my brother and I didn’t really have a choice, but Mum often wouldn’t come saying, “I’ve done enough fossicking”.
One of the regular spots we would visit was Harts Range, a town on Atitjere country, 215km North-East of Alice Springs. There happened to be a sports carnival on there one weekend so that was how dad convinced us to come with him, again. Although the sports carnival was a great weekend little did we know we were to spend hours out in the beaming sun looking for “rocks”, which is all we saw them as back then. As a kid I didn’t care much for these “rocks” dad was raving about and nearly giving himself heat stroke looking for them. My brother and I would be bored, we couldn’t kick the footy otherwise we would ruin it as there was no grass anywhere just dirt and rocks, so we would follow dad and kick rocks along the ground. These rocks we were kicking were the size of cricket balls and more times than not they were the “rocks” dad was looking for; Zircon, Garnet, Iolite to name a few.
Harts Range was the place that stuck in memory and is now very much a part of the pieces I create today. The Garnet, Zircon an Iolite I have used in my pieces are highly likely the ones that I kicked along the ground in its rough state as a kid. Looking back, I wish I appreciated those trips a lot more. We were very lucky to travel to these unique places as kids, but unfortunately not understanding or appreciating it at the time, we took those trips for granted.