Traveling Back to Alice Springs
It was with much anticipation that I joined my friend Diane on a road trip back to Alice Springs. I had lived there and gone to High School there, but had left without a backward glance in 1980. I had always wanted to drive through the outback to the Red Centre so this was a wonderful opportunity. The trip took three days and we stayed first night at Burra, a sweet little town, then Coober Pedy the second night. This was a confronting place for me, the desolateness, the dust and isolation and the raw sense of existence. We arrived in Alice early Sunday and as we passed through the gap I was flooded with emotion. The town however has changed substantially, and I hardly recognised where I was. As the desert red was hidden by the profusion of brilliant greens and soft yellow and olive strains I was astounded. I caught up with my first art teacher, Ian Campbell who was generous enough to agree to meet me for coffee. It was a wonderful reunion and I was pleased by how well we connected after all this time. I also met a wonderful woman, Pete Appleyard who runs her gallery Peta Appleyard in Todd Mall. She has some gorgeous paintings and it was a delight conversing with her. What a relief to meet a gallery owner who is open and willing to talk about her artists and express her passion of their work. A lovely early morning drive to Simpsons Gap was also a highlight of the trip. After two days I flew back to Melbourne to once again deal with the uncertainty of the future.