24. 07. 2016
1000 years of experience versus the Windmill gang
They stand alone in the Windswept Paddock, Mostly silent apart from a wind driven whirring or a squeaky protest due to lack of lubrication, some have bits missing, some are held together with fencing wire.
Iconic, Silvery, Rusty Sentinels, Givers of life, Bringers of Water
They stand together in the shed, never silent, Chatter, Laughter, Banter, Aches and Pains discussed, some have bits missing, and some are held together with stainless steel screws and wire.
Iconic, Silvery, Rusty Sentinels, Givers of life, Fixers of Windmills
Tatiara = “The Good Country”. Yes it is a Beautiful part of the country, Leviathan sized Redgums, Yacca’s, Mysterious “Runaway Holes”, Grain crops and sheep, lots of sheep all reliant on the pristine water pumped from the subterranean aquifer. The summers can be brutal with Drought a real and Tangible Threat to Humans, Animals and income producing crops, enough to make a Tough Hardworking Bloke Sad……..Real Sad….End of the Track Sad….
My Residency within “This is a Border (town)” sets out to address Mens Mental (And Physical) Health specifically in a Rural context. I have the pleasure of working with the Blokes from the Tatiara Mens Shed in Bordertown (I am now a Member). The shed is well equipped for woodworking, metalworking and generally fixing and making just about anything. The Blokes have diverse “Previous Lives” Farmers, Engineers, Railway workers, Bankers, salesmen, even a Lumberjack, the pool of knowledge is immense, the stories are BIG and embellishment is encouraged.
Metters, Varcoe, Southern Cross; These are some of the Australian made brands of Windmill, Beautifully made ,Delivered to the farm in “Flat Pack” kit form and Bolted together on site and erected over the well hole. Put to work, powered by Nature, Water is brought to the surface. It is a Sublime Process.
Technology is overtaking the humble windmill, solar powered pumps are popular and require little maintenance (Climbing a windmill tower, in pissing rain, in the dark, is not fun). Central supply tanks with electric pumps are now popular as well. The obsolete windmills stand forlornly in the paddocks, their working life done…..finished & forgotten….see ya later, thanks for everything.
What if we could bring the Sad Windmills together as a Group? Maybe re-invent them, give them new purpose and meaning, a reason to be, a new set of work clothes, Surely a shed full of clever blokes and a sculptor could make this happen.
Watch this space, give thanks to the windmill!
Mark de Nys