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Painting the prehistoric Clarence

Artist Dr John Jackson is at the Surfing The Coldstream.
Artist Dr John Jackson is at the Surfing The Coldstream. Debrah Novak

PAINTING the formation of the Clarence River was on John 'The Rock Doctor' Jackson agenda at Surfing the Coldstream.

"We're painting the rocks that give the source of sand for the Clarence and all the beaches up to Fraser Island,” Mr Jackson said.

"I've called it Sand Factory.”

The collaborative painting, or Prehistoric Storytelling, was drawing all types of people to Mr Jackson's stall at the Yamba festival where they could join in to paint the history of the Clarence River.

This isn't the full time artists first trip to Surfing the Coldstream.

"We were here last year and we had so much fun we had to come back,” he said.

"We have a ball because we have little youngsters come in here and they just love painting.

"Last year I thought we were going to pack up at 5 o'clock but we were still here at 7.”

The Rock Doctor artwork
The Rock Doctor artwork Caitlan Charles

Mr Jackson does a lot of workshops with children as part of his Prehistoric Storytelling.

"Last year I did a workshop at Palmers Island Primary, I did one at Wooli and one at Grafton Primary,” he said.

"This year I've been doing them up in Southern Queensland and I'm also doing some with grown ups.

"Last week I did one with Colour Australia and we did the history of the Brisbane River.”

Mr Jackson said he loves to do artwork about the formation of rivers, rocks, beaches and the earth.

"It's a great way of communicating with people about what's under our feet,” he said.

"I think it's so important what's under our feet because it's what we rely on for food, it's what we rely on for water, it's what we rely on for energy.

"We spend so much of our money and time worrying about radio signals and telephone signals in the air that everybody has forgotten about what is under our feet.

"My whole purpose really is to push an information system or techniques that people can talk about and find out what is under our feet.”

Last year, Mr Jackson's painting was quilted by the ladies at the Yamba Museum and is hanging up, he's still unsure about where this years Rock Doctor painting of the Clarence will end up.

Topics:  clarence river surfing the coldstream



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