In April I had the privilege of spending a few days with Michaye Boulter and her family – husband Rob Pennicott and children Maya and Noah – at their magnificent house on Bruny Island (for more photos, see an earlier blog post, Abalone for Tea). Michaye is a Tasmanian visual artist who has impeccable Prince Edward Island credentials. Her father, Charlie Boulter, was a Prince Edward Islander who, in his youth, travelled to Australia, where he met and married Irene from Alberta. After building a boat and sailing from Brisbane to British Columbia, then through the Panama Canal to New Brunswick, with their daughters Michaye and Jeanette, they eventually settled in Tasmania. I met Michaye through her aunt, my friend and renowned batik artist Sylvia Ridgway, who lives with her husband Bill in Victoria-by-the-sea, Prince Edward Island. Michaye’s PEI cousins include my fellow Charlottetonians: the Ridgways – Greg and Jennifer (Jennifer runs Moonsnail Soapworks) – and the McCardles – Darcy and Shawn.
Michaye remembers vividly the weeks and months spent daydreaming on the boat – memories that continue to inspire her painting. She very kindly agreed to be one of my interview subjects and we spent a couple hours with my tape recorder in her studio at the Salamanca Arts Centre. I’m looking forward to writing up what she had to say about how her “islandness” comes through in her art, and incorporating it into my PhD thesis.
|Michaye Boulter, her paintings, and me at the Handmark Gallery in Hobart|
Documenting the trip is videographer Zorro Gamarnik, who is providing an amazing and inspiring record of the journey. Zorro’s videos are fabulous – giving a rare opportunity to see Australia’s amazing coastline and meet some of the fabulous people who are helping them along the way. (The logistics - fuel, food, and accommodation wherever possible – have been an amazing feat alone – not to mention making the videos onboard a tiny boat and finding an Internet connection to post them!) I’ve been keeping track of the trip through Zorro’s videos on Facebook and through Rob’s website: http://follow.theyellowboatroad.com. But as the crew comes down to the crunch, I'm compelled to use these inter-island connections to help spread the word to whoever will listen!
|Tuna-fishing off Bruny Island with Rob and family|
If you donate over $10 AU, you’re eligible for a draw for two people to travel on the final leg from Uladulla to Sydney (estimated to be Friday, September 2). This will include flights from anywhere in the world, along with two nights’ accommodation and a five-day holiday in Tasmania. (If you enter the competition, $10 of your donation is not tax deductible as this is your entry into the competition.)
|Michaye and Maya|
For more details, check out Follow the Yellow Boat Road. And if you’re on Facebook, be sure to “like” what they’re doing – Zorro’s videos are worth the click alone!