all projects Abrolhos Islands: Nigel Helyer

16/05/11 0 comment/s post a comment

The Stone

A stone shown as a curio for there are no stones on this island, only coral, loose brittle and resonant, bearing the imprint of life that thrives in the waters hard by the strand.

Skimming over acres of it en route to nearby Basilli Island, named for a family of Italian fishermen, or perhaps they are named for the Island, with lives and livelihoods so entwined with place it is hard to tell.

In the cul de sac of a cement path named Cathedral Street stands a miniature catholic church, furnished with a neat array of small wooden school chairs, a series of ceramic tiles which illustrate the stations of the cross and two Madonnas, one a faded, framed print on the Altar, the other a plaster statuette balancing on a corner shelf; both gaze at wilted candles, a testament to passion past.

Basili is all neatness, it's shacks painted in electric rainbow colours, the floats and ropes ordered as if by the compulsions of a Mediterranean matriarch with little else to do in a sleepy coastal village.

The rock, likewise a transposition, arriving as ballast on a sailing vessel, which either floundered here or jettisoned this lode in lieu of a cargo, lies alongside a whale vertebrae and pearl nacre, a conduit to other worlds.

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