The Queenstown skyline has changed significantly over the last few years with a increase in tourism and development, it feels like the locals have left and the new breed have moved in. The mountain side is being cleared to make way for more development and to further expand the Queenstown district, looking up towards the Ben Lomond summit and noticing how much of the hillside has been cleared for new homes left a uneasy feeling deep inside me.
I arrived late into the evening, searching for a secluded area I could pull up and get some rest. My sleeping arrangement was less than desired but I have done it before and I will almost certainly do it again. Camped out in my little hire care, it fits all all my gear plus a little extra. With a restless nights sleep tossing and turning I eagerly woke up with dawn and welcomed the day with a coffee and porridge. My original plan we to survey the hills up towards the Ben Lomond track above queenstown but as a sat there looking over the township and noticing the change that has taken place over the last few years I had a sudden change of heart.
I decided to look on a section of land that will not be here in years to come, I came across a path that lead past a small clearing where a number of trees had been cut down. Looking at the various sizes of the stumps I gathered that they would have originated from the same tree and be descendants of one another. This family have stood here for over 20 years, they are as much part of queenstown as the lake and the slopes.
This idea resonated with me heavily, to see a family of trees not planted in lines, but grown organically with the earth and the seasons. I knew I wanted to print them all, the next process of placement of print and space made it difficult to print them all and I hadn't reached the next challenge of physically printing them but knew I would make it work.
With the winds changing by the second and light showers coming when ever they wanted made for a difficult time to begin with. I decided to print in sets of threes from smallest to largest, in order to maintain similarities between each print I used the landscape as a reference guide.
With nowhere to place them and the weather closing in, I ran the risk of damage by laying each print on the surrounding scrub, a few hairy moments where I thought the wind was going to whisk them all away I managed to get out before night fall. I wrapped up the prints, bagged my gear, said a quick goodbye and headed for the car.
I said farewell to Queenstown and headed north for Wanaka hoping to find some adventures and say hello to a old friend.