Sawtooth ARI, Launceston TAS
This project has grown out of my paid work as a ‘track worker’ constructing and maintaining walking tracks on kunanyi/Mt Wellington. This work has afforded me unique experiences and perspectives that feed into my studio practice as a painter. These experiences have given me the perspective of ‘the mountain’ as a workplace, a place of recreation and as a ‘wild’ place lacking permanent human settlement above a certain elevation. I have come to see the mountain as a location where humans walk, ride, and climb high above the suburbs of Hobart, and become ‘lost’ in an experience of themselves intermingling, and coexisting with ‘nature’.
This body of work examines the human experience of navigating The Lost World Track, high up on kunanyi. This track is one of the more challenging short walks in the area, as it winds its way up from The Old Hobartians Track below The Chalet, climbing steeply through a boulder field of jumbled car sized dolerite blocks, following a series of fading, hand painted circular red and yellow track markers, through to the base of a spectacular amphitheater of thirty-metre-high cliffs.
Navigating the boulder-fields of The Lost World Track is an endeavour both physical and visual. The experience requires the eyes and the rest of the body to be working in unison. The eyes must navigate a complex array of visual information from the jumbled boulders patterned with lichen to the fading track markers. At the same time the arms and legs must be used to scramble over boulders of various shapes and sizes. The body constantly adjusting its centre of balance to the change in angle of the steeply sloping ground. At times this act feels completely intuitive, a feat of natural improvisation and play, and at others it feels awkward and extreme focus is required to avoid falling into one of the many dark, deep gaps between the boulders.
Adrian Bradbury 2019