Over the two months we travelled round Western Australia in 2018, I filled 119 tiny test tubes with samples of sand, gravel and ochre (none taken from sacred Aboriginal sites). I found more colour, and more variety, than I could have dreamed of. My favourite is a dark metallic sand collected with a magnet from a perfect circle found deposited around the top of an ant hole behind Dales camp site in Karijini National Park.
The collection has become the perfect memory of my trip, as well as a beautiful artefact in its own right. It has also started a habit of sand collection. This has expanded to include collecting rock samples that can be crushed to powder in a pestle and mortar, and clays that crumble to dust once dry. Now everywhere I go, I have tiny plastic bags in my rucksack, ready for the next opportunity to collect.
Blog posts about collecting colour: