Understandably, we are focusing on human health right now with the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. There is another crisis that as humans, for our own health, breath and well-being we must not forget! Climate change and Australia’s environment is not faring well.
I was making work for an upcoming show at the Western Plains Cultural Centre in Dubbo. I was seeing pictures of masses of dead fish on TV about the Menindee fish kills out western NSW, and it was just devastating and confronting. Severe drought, increasing temperatures, fish kills and bushfires no wonder the natural environment isn’t faring well. Fish are like the canary in the mine for our rivers. I had researched that there were endangered or vulnerable fish and found out that the Macquarie Perch was extinct in the Macquarie River.
I made drawings of fish heads and tails and I cut out bits of recycled foam and plastic to form the skeleton. I put it together and hung it up in my studio. The light shining onto the skeletons made great shadows. Testing out the light, I could stretch and emphasise the shadow. The shadow added a layering and depth. I’ve continued to make drawings, paintings and a wall mural from this idea. The works symbolised to me the past history and our future if we don’t changes!
Let’s take action like we are doing with the COVID-19 and stop the way we keep extracting beyond our needs, our beautiful essential waterways! Let’s change our relationship to being ‘with’ nature.