Out here in the western plains of New South Wales, the sky is always big, the horizon is always as far away as the eye can see, the light is made of honey and gold, the nights are black, and the seasons are our markers of time turning – the harvest, the planting, the rain, the full channels, the falling leaves, the lambing and shearing, the gentle stepping through of Nature’s endless moments. Agriculture is our hymn sheet. The colours of the landscape and the sky are always imprinted in our minds. This is our heartland and our home country. The portal where the past and the present and the future blur and meld together. Our beautiful rugged solemn land.
Who are we? The Rural Fundamentalists. Farmers – generations of farmers, building an industry that feeds millions. Herdsmen and orchardists and grain growers and cattlemen. From the small tent houses of the pioneer settlers – the soldiers and immigrants come to the Riverina. Sportsmen – Union and Rugby and AFL and fishing and shooting and motorbikes and boxing. And churchgoers. The Catholic Women’s League. The Anglican Women. The Presbyterians, The Methodists, Uniting Church, Lutherans. All one under God. The prayers and the play. The cooking and the pub and the joy of the open sky. Who are we? We are from all the corners of the globe. We are Wiradjuri Nation. We are children and old men, and players and paupers and peasants and moguls, Europeans with our wine and food and orchards and vineyards. Fighters, drinkers, tale-tellers and Fabulators. We are the Rural Fundamentalists – hear our creed. We are poets and artists and dancers and preachers and actors and musicians and choristers and band members, Highlanders and whiskey drinkers pipe players and drummers in kilts, writers and lovers. We are sport, and work. We are arts and making things and bunking off and coming together and pulling apart. We are yahooing and larrikin-ing and wild at heart and full of glee. And full of darkness. We are spirits and myths. We are mountains in the Flat Land. Paddocks and furrows. Dreamtime and Biyaami.
We dreamed an idea out of the landscape and the sky, the stories and the past, the loss and grief and joy and fertility. To let everyone find their voice. To let our stories come to life, to create, to dare, to fly.
Through all the bright days and the long nights – the seed of something speaking to us from the landscape and the sky. To bring stories to life.
Our Riverina aesthetic. Our Roxy. Our people. Our culture. Our daring. Out of the golden light of Autumn, the darkling air, the first touches of frost and the whispers of Winter somewhere in the storm clouds beyond the day.
Henry V… The King is Coming…April 2021.
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