Here we are in Hong Kong again. We are up on the fourth floor in our little space in Hollywood Rd with the sounds of buses roaring by and children squealing in the gardens below, water always drip drip dripping from some overflowing pipe in the courtyard. A quiet moment actually, to reflect, as there is nothing to do just now.
So beautiful this life, touching the lives of people everywhere, led to where our work takes us. I guess that is true for most people considering work is such a big part of living. I love it though. Mike and I are naturally restless, so when an opportunity arises through our work, we take it, blown into the wind, unsure of where it will drop us. It always worried our poor parents because it seemed to them that we took life on like gamblers, risking everything for the dream; selling houses we had bought just to have an exhibition – its profits would pay for all the bronze founding that had to be done each time. When Jacob got into his school in Michigan we sold everything up, every possession we had to be near him, we got as far as Ireland, but it seemed only a hop and a jump compared to being back in Australia. Michigan didn’t suit him and soon we would be back together again, taking stock and then residing for months in the south of France, creating new work from all that bountiful colour that filled our souls to the brim. When we returned to Australia from that particular trip, we had nothing but four suitcases of clothes and more dreams and somehow we emerged from the dust again and built a beautiful glass house in the hills of central Victoria, a part of nature and the elements. But truly, the most wonderful dream has been Italy. How lucky are we to have been able to do it. It has settled us too, because I think it is here that our hearts lie, here and southern France, we never could agree, but both are kindred spirits.
As I am sitting here I am remembering our last glimpse of the Tuscan hills as we departed for the airport. Mists roiling in the valleys wrapping themselves around little hilltop villages, ethereally capturing renaissance cameos of bell towers and craggy pines. A far cry from China, one day later, in the back blocks of Pudong where we are casting some work at a foundry. Grey and tough, an almost colourless world, and yet the people are so lovely, so sweet and generous. China has really changed, especially in these big cities. The wealth is really apparent now, and you do not get the bargains you would expect, for instance the prices of foundry work is very similar to Italy and I know where I would prefer to be. A few days later we are in the south, checking out an art residency for next year at a university in Xiamen. More beautiful generous people and a leafy lovely city by the sea that we will enjoy staying in for a little while.
Now we are back in Hong Kong after setting up the Guardians in their new home in Australia and we suffer squiggles of excitement as we reach into the very near future and place ourselves by the kitchen fire in Pieve after we have walked miles in the cold wintry air, collecting pinecones and chestnuts from the forest floor.