Christine Salter | I Am A Raconteur

We caught up with Christine Salter, creative director of Paspaley. This remarkable multi-generational company is a pioneer of Australia’s pearling industry with more than 80 years of heritage.
Video credit Paspaley.com
FAVOURITE BUSHWALK IN AUSTRALIA
In the Kimberley region of Northwest Australia, lies a bushwalk that can only be reached by sea or air. There are no roads in, and it is so far removed from any township that you seem to forget that civilization even exists at all. Named after the Indigenous rafts that were discovered there, Raft Point is still in the hands of its traditional owners.
Worrorra elders accompany us when we visit their country, flying in by helicopter from their community to meet us. An immersive cultural experience, it begins with a smoking ceremony on the beach. This ritual of walking through smoke from burning leaves is intended to expel negative spirits from our bodies before we journey into their country – leaving a feeling of positive energy.

The walk is a steep and rocky ascent up a natural, rugged water course. The blazing sun brings relentless heat, but we can turn around at any point in the hike to see the ocean down below. Pushing through this wild frontier land, abundant with iconic boab trees, our hosts tell stories of lore and culture that have been passed down for thousands of years. 

The destination ahead is the Ngumbree art gallery hidden high up in the escarpment. This gallery is abundant with ochre paintings covering the rock overhangs and ancient walls. The paintings depict Wandjina figures that are symbols of fertility and rain. Wandjina have been continuously painted on rock surfaces along the Kimberley coast for the past 5 thousand years and are not found anywhere else in Australia.

 These natural art galleries are sacred places and to see them in the wilderness is a spiritual experience that truly awakens your wonder. 

 FAVOURITE SCENT MEMORY

 High up in the mountains, far away from the pollutants of industry, Greek Orthodox monks bottle oil from organic olives and resins they hand-collected from the surrounds of their monastery. These monastic oils are created for spiritual, ritual and healing purposes.


I have a deep friendship with someone who comes from the same Greek village as my family. We sat beside each other, one afternoon, and grieved the loss of his mother. He opened a small bottle of Mount Athos olive oil that had been infused with Myrrh and Frankincense. Myrrh is said to symbolise the tenderness of the heart and is emotionally grounding and calming. He rubbed it into my forehead, like a blessing, and then into my inner wrists. The aroma was mystical and exotic, like the kind you expect to waft through an Arabian bazaar; smoky, woody, earthy, sweet, and citrusy.

 

 

Later this year we’ll be celebrating the creation of the second fragrance we’ve created for Paspaley. Stay tuned.

 

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