Embracing The Challenge
Popopstudios Junior Residency Prize Winner for 2012, Veronica Dorsett writes about her experience during the Eco-Symposium in Schooner Bay.
As the conversation began, we were immersed within a setting of extraordinary potential, intellect, and most importantly comradery. The journey began with a slow gallop toward what
would become the very genesis of a collaborated history as we entered an unfamiliar environment ready to embrace any and every challenge ‘together’. My mind was racing through thoughts of uncertainty, excitement and intimidation as we arrived in Schooner Bay, Abaco, because I knew I was about to become part of something that was much bigger than myself.
We wasted no time in conjuring up thoughts of what we wanted to create and thus the idea to build some form of a temple or sacred place was born. I felt relieved that we had laid the first stone and from there, our ideas ran wild – literally. As we come upon the sight, which was essentially 15 feet or so above our own heads, we knew that this would be no easy task. And oddly enough although our tools were machetes and our canvas was a large area of shrubbery and bushes, we were like kids in a candy store cutting away what would become a pathway to the ‘temple’.
I found those initial cuts into the bushes quite exhilarating because the possibilities were endless. By the end of Day 1, we not only had a clear cut idea but a clear cut path as well and little did we know by 10am the next morning, our solemn path would become an 8 foot wide line, all thanks to the D8!
Our expectations were superseded as we drove to the site on Day2 to find not even a D5 but a D8 drawing a beautiful line up to the sight of the temple. Talk about kids in a candy store – forget the candy, we were practically in Disneyland! It was amazing to be so close to such a powerful machine and beyond that, the thought of “drawing” a line without a physical pencil just threw my mind into over drive. By the time, the D8 had finished clearing the top of the hill; we were able to fully experience the long walk up to the site – it was simply rewarding.
There was much left to be done at the site now that our path had been tenderly carved out. However, even as we continued to work there were quiet moments where each of us in our own time stopped working to simply breathe and take in the view – to me, those cycles of breath placed a blessing on the site and thus, the birth of a sacred place was unveiled.
By Day 3, we knew that our sacred place would continue to be a work in progress and together we had laid the foundation. The most defining moment of our journey to the temple was the final placement of stones, which, in my opinion, made the site and the path come full circle. As soon as I saw the name that John, Tom and Antonius had placed on the stone at the very beginning of the path, I knew that the missing key had finally been found. All I could think was, “THAT’S IT! I LOVE IT!” The high I felt was beyond me and even as I continued to shout how much I loved the name, as I came to the top of the hill and entered the temple, I felt a calm, a sigh of relief, I felt the circulation of my own breath, and I could hear the music of the trees around me. The site was named, “Piano”.
I can’t begin to thank Antonius Roberts, John Cox, Tom Ashcraft, Peter, and Marielle Barrow enough for allowing us to be a part of such a pivotal journey. The experience was truly once in a lifetime – I mean, honestly, where else would we have been able to draw with a D8!
By: Veronica Dorsett