I skim low across the river’s surface and come upon a remnant stand of grand old trees. They are twisted and gnarled, shaped by powerful surges of the river in flood. I edge closer, manoeuvring around splayed, overhanging limbs to feel their living presence. I sit quietly, breathing their expelled air and enjoying the cool shade and habitat in the crowns above.

In the kayak, I am at the same level as the impressive curled and knotted roots that twist through and around rock and silt, exposed in parts as fibrous networks supporting the riverbank.

For me, this is beauty in the true sense of the word. These gnarled, twisted old growth trees are living evidence of strength, endurance and adaptation to their environment. They exist in a rich riparian landscape, a meeting of river and land, a flourishing place between.

The images of large-scale work attached show a 3.5 metre drawing destined for the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Katoomba Opening 9th December, curator Rilka Oakley, Water Presence and Absence. The show will run till 29th Jan 2023.

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