So the digging has stopped. The hole will go no further down. The work is done. I know, Im as surprised as anyone. As any artist will tell you, its not the making of a work that is difficult, but knowing when it is finished. As is common with works that belong to the traditions that this hole belongs to, it is usual to seek some external index or parameter that will determine the length or breadth or depth of what you are doing. This parameter usually involves maths or numbers or formulae, and originally I was thinking I would peg the depth of the hole to the 8 hour work day, the 5 day work week which would bind the work to considerations of labor and the regimentation of time. But because paid work intervened and I spent nearly half of my residency in Sydney doing actual work for actual money, this index was impossible. I was thinking of just finishing the work on the 30th when the residency finished, which was pretty desperate and arbitrary really. On Sunday the 25th, I climbed into the hole thinking I would dig for my usual five hours morning shift before emerging to the luncheon we were having to celebrate the work. The personal issues I have mentioned earlier, had on that morning condensed into a particularly painful mood that made the work far more difficult than the resistance of the earth. The joy, optimism, and good humor that had motivated this project was gone. It was finished. This then became the measure of my making, giving me the external parameter that could determine the limit of the work.
I want to thank all of my friends who travelled out from Sydney, Dubbo, Kandos and Hill End to see the work. It was a great luncheon and I enjoyed it immensely. I was happy that you were able to experience the hole in all of its being there. Tomorrow I will fill the hole in and clean up Haeflinger’s cottage and go home. I will probably make a post about that too.