Pack Donkey adventure

pack donkey adventure

A sense of direction.

The pack donkey adventure began as a vague plan to head for the ranges and follow the Bicentennial national trail. I began along a back dirt track from the community farm near Kuranda (tropical north Queensland). The main challenge was crossing creeks with the donkey. A slow going 16km a day meant many a day I would camp in damp tropical rain forest. Gradually I got used to the donkey ehhaw early morning.

A Eco-spiritual vision emerges

The pack donkey adventure style of travel had an element of pilgrimage to it. I had just returned from India! The last few weeks out of a year stay in India landed me in a pilgrim town. This inspired a somewhat novel approach in the spiritual quest for novel conscious states. It would be outside the yoga spiritual pod scene (analysis page). A moving away from the anthropocentric yogic view, and towards a yogic Eco-spiritual approach that pondered the ‘what its like to be‘ (wiki) another sort of conscious entity. The approach had a number of prior triggers in the form of my encounters as a Brahma Kumaris with new age ecological movements at exhibitions, and post Brahma Kumaris experimentation with sound harmonics within communities.

Pack donkey adventure as a visual art practice

The encounter with a self identified group who claimed to do or be artists went back to my cycle adventurism days in 1983. I was not so interested back then when I stayed at one community as a WOOFER (Garden Of Eden in Northern New South Wales) but became aware of members who had a studio practice committed to various visual arts. However on this journey I did encounter in Mosman village an open house. It had a sign (Art House). I tied the Donkey to a handy post, and on that it fled which made me stay at the house for a few days until I located it at the Adventist church grounds where the green keeper thought it to be some sort of omen. However it became clear this was another form of community than my encounter at Mary farms (biographical page).

The place had a patron who owned and run the gallery with other artists busy doing this and that in relation to their ‘projects’ which took up the morning with the afternoon being for discussion of one or another way to ‘get it out there’ to ‘change awareness of one or another issue’. The patron suggested I was doing a visual arts practice of sorts through a form of historical revisionism. This was not the only place since I had similar encounters, such as the artist colony at the Daintree region. These arts based people/groups all were welcoming and interested in the adventure as a way to express a perspective on tropical and historical individual pursuits.

Pack donkey adventure arts/ecology.

The journey lasted for three month with its conclusion near Cooktown where the donkey was given to a hobby farm who had horses. However the impact on my yogic pilgrim style adventure transformed to an convergence. I felt the spiritual quest needed to be more informed with the arts as a cultural pursuit in a secular sense. This was assimilated through reading in general and interaction with materialist pragmatic advocates. These folk usually had some bone to pick with social and environmental issues. The visual arts were broadly those who kept it away from institutions and those interdependent heavily on the educational and gallery sectors. Although on the journey most artists were on the arts sector periphery or ‘peripheralists’ by self definition as a cohort. This formed the basis for further interaction with modes art expressionism and academia when I again returned to Brisbane.