Sharing the Edge

Annamaria Weldon : Adaptation Artist-in-Residence 2009-2010.
Sharing the Edge was conceived as a suite of poems and landscape memoirs by poet Annamaria Weldon.

The project was researched and developed at SymbioticA- Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts in collaboration with Adaptation Resident Laurie Smith at The School of Anatomy & Human Biology, University of Western Australia.

Their work was informed and inspired by the ecology of Lake Clifton, the thrombolites and whatever else Shares the Edge with them, explored through a scientific and experiential ‘lens’. They researched and developed stories and themes intended for publication and/or public recitals, which could later be enhanced by image and sound, turned into a public story-board or website, or developed to include a component of community interaction, such as group presentations and workshops.

In July 2010, on completion of the project’s research and development phase, Weldon and Smith agreed to pursue independent creative outcomes.





In the beginning, her eggs
a clutch of living stones, earth’s
immersed lungs, windows
of a dream, open.



The Adaptation Residency’s participation and outreach focus involved Annamaria in promoting nature writing across the community. During 2009-2010 she led 20 writing workshops in Perth, Fremantle, Mandurah and Denmark, based in part on her wetlands experiences and Yalgorup stories. The workshops were sponsored by writingWA, City of Mandurah, Country Arts Network W.A., Community First International, Poets Union and Denmark Arts.

Annamaria has also given several public readings and presentations on her wetlands writing project, participating as guest speaker in the nature symposia Hydrobotanica (2009, Createc/ECU) , in Rhythm of the Wild (2010 Alexander Library, with Nicholas Rothwell and Gina Mercer) and Unruly Ecologies (Dr Perdita Phillips, SymbioticA UWA).

For the launch of Stretch Arts and Culture Festival 2010, her Lake Clifton poetry was set to music and dance.






If they spoke
                just once …
we would hear the first breath
before it became everything
before it became Yalgorup.


Once, Stretch Festival 2010 Mandurah Performing Arts Centre

These experiences are the background to Annamaria’s work-in-progress, a landscape journal of poems, memoir and her wetland photographs, some of which have been exhibited at UWA’s Science Library (‘Evolution in Action – Charles Darwin and Western Australia’s bio-diversity hotspot’ 2009), published in Artsource, Science Matters,, Landscapes and selected for the forthcoming ‘Wetlands – the Vital Link’ (Museums Australia).

Several of her Yalgorup journal poems and essays have appeared in journals including Landscapes (ECU International Centre for Landscape and Language), Westerly (UWA ), The Red Room Company, Indigo and dotdotdash - and the 2010 anthology Science Made Marvellous (Poets Union).

Laurie Smith, Weldon’s collaborator on this project, has lived and worked in Western Australia most of his life, with 50 years of experience as a naturalist/zoologist. His work in biological sciences (terrestrial vertebrates) included extensive field work in Western Australia and Indonesia. Before his retirement he was working as acting Curator, Herpetology at the W.A. Museum, and is still an active Honorary Research worker in that department.

Annamaria Weldon is a former journalist and has been writing since 1978. Her work has been broadcast on ABC RN (Poetica and Short Stories) and in 2008, her poetry collection The Roof Milkers was published by Sunline Press.

In Bindjareb Nyungar tradition the thrombolites are Woggaal Noorook - eggs of the creation serpent.

Link to an ariel view of Lake Clifton in Google Maps here.