Luminous Dreams

This year I had the pleasure and privilege of contributing to a community art project in Geraldton as part of UWA’s centenary celebrations. The project, entitled Luminous Dreams, was the brainchild of my talented husband, on behalf of the faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Art.

After visiting Geraldton, Anthony had the ambitious and somewhat whacky idea of projecting a film onto Geraldton’s landmark port building: the 13 storey CBH grain silo.


I wrote the story for the film, in consultation with Broome-based author Peter Docker, imagining Geraldton in the year 2050 and drawing inspiration from Yamaji versions of the Seven Sisters myth.

Local artist Rose Holdaway worked with more than 100 local high school students to illustrate the story and their illustrations were woven into a film, created by Sohan Ariel Hayes, with a striking soundscape by Cat Hope.

My son and I accompanied Anthony to Geraldton for the ‘premiere’. On a beautiful balmy night, we picnicked with friends on the Geraldton foreshore, surrounded by families of the students whose work was in the film, and other residents.

The film looked amazing, lighting up the entire port and it was really exciting to see how the students had interpreted my story, and to hear it narrated as part of the soundscape.

Humanity is a voracious beast.

Relentlessly consuming and polluting, and multiplying, multiplying, multiplying until there isn’t a square inch on which we haven’t left our footprints, staked a claim, dug a hole.

Now we are paying the price: squeezed ever tighter into cities which are crumbling at the foundations, competing fiercely for dwindling resources on a planet which is getting hotter, drier.

Soon the creeping decay will become a cataclysm, a firestorm, drying up rivers, setting trees ablaze, boiling the very rocks; a raging torrent of light and heat, razing the cities, scorching the earth.

It is said that nothing can survive.

But those who say that don’t know about us.

We have been digging holes of our own, deep underground. Into the bunkers we are carrying the tools for rebuilding our world.

We are ready for the storm.

We carry our values: hard work, resourcefulness, equality.

We carry our seeds: the plants and animals who will share the planet with us.

We carry our technologies: all that we have learnt as well as all that we have failed to learn; the lessons of the first people, whose wisdom we need now. 

And when at last the storm blows over, we will emerge to rebuild our world, our way.

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Luminous Dreams   ANNABEL SMITH

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