I find myself surrounded by people who are worried, angry and hold incredible sadness and I too am deeply affected by the current situation of fires that are raging across this beautiful island state. I am in the whirlwind of exhibition preparation which in itself and by its nature is a roller coaster of emotions however there is an added level for me this time.
I am drawn to the places that lie beyond where the roads end; deep within the forests, on the mountains where the earth touches the sky and on the edges of land where the land meets the ocean. These are the places that are sacred for me and in turn, naturally, are the spaces where I respond to with my art. My work is situated in the takayna/Tarkine around Milkshake Hills, Rapid River and Julius River and the Central Plateau south of Lake Mackenzie.
In the last week I have watched these geographical places that I have responded to either be ravaged by fire or are currently being threatened; only time will tell and I know that by the time the exhibition opens next week it may be a different story with more places changed beyond my memory of that place. I have chosen to respond to places that are vulnerable or threatened and I now understand how tangible that is.
The process of making this body of work has required me to revisit the places time and time again as I have been developing my own way of working and responding to the land. Each time I visit find myself connecting deeper through discovering new aspects of place and developing my artistic voice through each discovery. Poignantly or perhaps ironically all my work has been created through casting, a technique that transmutes natural elements to metal through fire.
I've had a deep journey with grief and I feel it playing out again but I learnt last time there is no grief without love. A friend yesterday reminded me of Alfred Lord Tennyson words ' 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all'. I am indeed blessed to have known and loved these places and to have these tangible reminders and talismans of these places.