Category Archives: Photos

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” ~ Diane Arbus

Two Flags

26th January is Australia Day.

My Husband & our kids are Indigenous Australians but most of MY family immigrated just prior to WWI from Germany, Ireland & Scotland. Yep, I’m white. In high school we were called ‘skips’. In honour of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, I guess.

The 26th of January marks the raising of the Union Jack in Sydney Cove. This is when the British officially declared sovereignty over Australia & took control of the land – by any means necessary.

To me Australia Day has been about celebrating freedom & enjoying family & friends. It has been about looking towards a future where everyone is given equal opportunities. Where feelings about ‘Invasion’ are healed by positive relationships between all Australians. I believe this can be accomplished by raising our kids to be respectful, educated & caring people not hampered by the guilt, hurt & damage of past wrong doings for which they cannot & should not be held accountable.

What happened to the Australian Indigenous population during the 1700’s & onward is a disgrace. Considered inhuman they experienced atrocities that continued for over 200 years. We all, Australians, know this. We learnt about it at school, we were told about it by the community, by our Indigenous friends & by the media. Indigenous Australians are no longer considered inhuman. They have the same rights as anyone else. The government has issued an official & formal apology to the Indigenous Australians of this great land.

The government & it’s citizens have all said ‘Sorry’. Even those of us that weren’t living here. Those of us who joined Australia, after those times, have said (& whole heartedly felt) Sorry. Perhaps the anniversary of that day would be a better choice for Australia Day?

I do not mind what date Australia Day falls on. The date has no meaning to me. The date does not form part of my ethos surrounding the wonder & excitement that is & has always been Australia Day. It has simply meant a day to spend together. Together as a family, as a country; united. But for some it has great meaning. It’s the day their whole future was changed & their worlds turned upside down.

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Under the Morton Bay Figs My son & my Dad ©Violet Ashes 2016

Almost every town in Australia has some sort of Australia Day tradition. Where I grew up you got up at 6am & threw the deck chairs, blanket & Esky in the car & made your way to the park by the river under the Morton Bay Fig Trees (yep, they’re native & they’re beautiful) for a gold-coin-donation breakfast provided by the local Rotary & Apex clubs. There were games like ‘dunny races’ & performances by children’s choirs & Indigenous Australian dancers. They gave out citizen awards & the Mayor talked about the future of the town. We stood up for the National Anthem under two flags: the Australian & the Indigenous Australian. I never could understand why there were two flags instead of one, but I just accepted it.

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Australia Day 2016 – Mayor of Gawler    ©Violet Ashes 2016

Just accepting it as the ‘way it is’ does not work for me anymore. I often state (tongue in cheek) “as the mother of Indigenous children…” However, in this instance I am not joking. I believe it is well overdue time to unite. To let go. Not to forget but to heal the past by moving toward a future united. To teach our children about a world where we can live without the guilt of our ancestors but of the love & compassion they had for this land, all land. For the desire for freedom that we all have. Even those of us who are white love this land & feel a deep connection to it. It’s where I was born, raised & gave birth to my own children. It is home.

So, if you must, change the date. It does not affect the feeling, the ‘vibe’ of the day for me. But it will for some. And if moving the date helps ALL Australians, Indigenous or otherwise, enjoy their day of unity, harmony & freedom then do it, I say. Do it.

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My son, Jack    ©Violet Ashes 2016

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My son & I    ©Violet Ashes 2018

 

 

 

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Motivational Fig

This year I have a motivational word by which I want to define my year: ‘Growth’. Emotional growth – sure. Knowledge growth; definitely. However, the biggest part of my life in which I want to experience growth is my garden. Growing things, being outside & teaching my kids how to grow food & work together to build something is one of the reasons we moved a bit further out in the country two years ago.

There is freedom here, not complete freedom, but space & quiet that we didn’t have before. It has helped clear my mind & my heart of a lot of things that were holding me back in my growth. I think I have had a peek into the life I have always wanted — but it will take growth.

I have not published a blog since September 2016. A lot has happened in that space. Most importantly, we met our final family member, the beautiful Violet. I plan to add a few blogs that will fill in that time so life makes sense, but I might not get a chance. In any event, the last year has certainly been challenging. I not only met my daughter but my Son turned 2. He is a running, yelling, conversing, building machine & keeping me on my toes. Unfortunately, I also lost two of my best friends this year quite unexpectedly. The loss of those two souls in my life has left a silent hole in my heart. I have many unanswered questions. I miss them daily, hourly, minutely. I wish they were here to play with my kids & chat about our lives. There is so much I could say that trying to find the words leaves me exhausted.

In any case, to mark the beginning of 2018 growth we planted a healthy green Fig tree in our back yard. He was a gift to me from a friend (RG) & has been lovingly tended to since he was a seedling. He has been ready to find a permanent place in our yard for a little while but today seemed like the right time. It will be interesting to see how his growth matches my own. The soil here is mostly clay so it will be a challenge to keep him healthy but what’s growth without challenge?

Fig Tree

Jack & our newly planted Fig Tree

Carpet Veins

These are two of my favourite photos of The Doors. I first saw these photos when I was about 10 years old & I have never stopped wondering what they were thinking about… or what happened to that amazing carpet; to me it looked like the veins on an arm & they were all coming out of Jim Morrison. It’s possible these photos are the reason I became obsessed with the veins in my own arms & spent years carving them up, who knows, perhaps I was looking for a Door.

The Doors, 1968
Photography by Art Kane

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© Art Kane 1968

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© Art Kane 1968

7

“All 7 & we’ll watch them fall
They stand in the way of love
& we will smoke them all
With an intellect & a savoir-faire
No one in the whole universe
Will ever compare
I am yours now & u are mine
& together we’ll love through
All space & time, so don’t cry
One day all 7 will die”
– Prince

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© Violet Ashes 2016

Glorious Construction

A short evening stroll A short evening stroll tonight led me to a glorious sunset. 🌅❤💜

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Freeling, South Australia. ©Violet Ashes 2016