In the forest around my studio there is a pond, I walk or sit there almost every day. It is a place to recuperate, and enjoy the silence. It is round, and ringed by forest. Clouds drift across its mirroring surface. The trees reach downward into another sky. When raindrops fall, the image on the surface shatters into abstract patterns. At dusk, the woodland pales into grey-green shadow and the pond is luminous. In the morning, the bright sun pours through branches, washes the scene in gold, and the water is painted with blue. Choughs scrabble around the pond's edge, and from time to time the quiet is broken by the raucous calls of cockatoos. Occasionally, the shrike thrush sings.
The country out here is decorated with dams and ponds; water is precious, water is the gold in a dry land. We are always drawn to water, and never more so than in places where there is scarcity. Ponds have, of course, their place in art history. Monet returned again and again to his waterlily pond to paint it. Rural dams and ponds in the Australian bush may not have the contrived prettiness of Giverny, but they are an iconic feature of the landscape, and have their own understated, intriguing beauty.