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Merilee Bennett is a maker, artist, creator.

 

Place

Merilee Bennett

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Classes and workshops are offered in a few different venues, but primarily in my teaching studio, looking out over the valley to Mount Macedon, about 50 minutes drive from Melbourne CBD.

It is deeply peaceful here. There are white cockatoos and magpies and kookaburras and various wrens and other tiny lovely birds, kangaroos who hang out in the paddock and in the forest behind the house, echidnas who think we can't see them when they bury their heads in the ground with their spikey backsides up and obvious, and a wallaby who eats all the leaves from the rose bushes. Bless his little I-was-here-before-you-were heart. The garden is a wonderful on-going work in progress. (Aren't we all!)

"Place", in my mind, is made up of the physical environment as well as the history and the myths and stories of a place, like layers built up over millennia. Some of the layers are invisible, but we breath them in none the less. It took millions of years to form the shape of the land, and many thousands of years of human interaction to live and tell the stories:  the Wurundjeri people for upwards of (conservatively) 26,000 years, then two hundred years of non indigenous folk. There are stories of living memory, local recent history, and finally, my own brief time here, with my personal memories and experiences.

When I look out at the horizon, when the mist is low on the mountain, when the sun burns off the cloud and the day is revealed blue and clear and full of bird song, when I see the kangaroos resting under the eucalypts, or walk outside in the night to look up at the milky way, I sometimes think of all those generations who lived and created and had families and told stories in this place which is now my home.  It's a great boon to live and work somewhere so beautiful.