margaret ellen turner presents "Ruby Gap" in sketches

Urgent and fierce -
a response to Ruby Gap in the MacDonnell Ranges east of Alice Springs.

The urgency was on my part, an expression of my desperation to try
see/capture/understand/hold the experience of that fierce landscape.
And fierce, the intuitive response of my drawn line to my intoxication -
at the incomprehensible newness of what I was encountering.
I was stripped bare of all my sixty-six years of accumulated ‘stuff’,
just as these rearing stone cliffs have been stripped bare by the
wearing (wearying?) processes of uncountable time.


To be in the Centre of Australia is as tough as looking into deep space
photos taken by the Hubble Space Craft.
The carpet of bright lights in the dark revealed by the Hubble camera are
actually whole galaxies not simple stars. That image is somehow beyond
my capacity to encompass because I am locked in the evanescent
point of view of a human life.

So too the landscape of the Centre.
I simply don’t figure in relation to its vastness, both of age and size.
I am grateful I have learned to draw. That skill allows me to be in
the presence of that incomprehensibility, sort of on the sly, and,
to whatever small degree, meet it.