Finding a voice for the wetlands is a difficult task but that is the mission. Our once vast and interconnecting wetlands in the southern regions are suffering. This is obvious near and within intertidal resource rich zones where the fight for real-estate plays out. From ponds, pools, streams, lakes, rivers, seas and oceans, how can we speak about the deeper serious problems that are not going away? We need to speak from a human connected perspective and the secret must be to find our chord again, be very aware and not be fooled.
Through art, perhaps softly, we can share some stories and visualise and listen to motivate ourselves into seeing a multi-dimensional view. This would allow one to connect in a spiritual/cultural dimension and I believe in this case help shape mental tools required to save our precious wetlands. From the Tropics to the southern shores, mangroves are teaching me their place and my place in a timeless way. The Mangroves struggle in a sick environment, just like us, and now they are suffering.
Since Settlement in the mid 1830s I’ve heard it said that within ten years a third of the billabongs dried up not to return. There is no dreaming for horse, cow, sheep, goat, donkey, pig, camel and not ever in millions of years did this land hear or feel the hardened hoof and the legacy of all that came. At times the water would flow from Corangamite to the Ocean and the Mangroves of the Barwon.
My medium is mainly oil on canvas, painting in the mangrove world of FNQ in my twenties, years of sculpture and building, then back to painting in recent years driven by a more mature understanding of language and culture.
Work will be made specifically for the exhibition.
Falling on International Wetlands Day, thanks to Zahidah’s invitation we can take an opportunity in various medium to put focus on a possibly hidden yet probably huge environmental issue we face today, Water and Wetlands. In understanding Global warming, a magnifying glass effect happens and a pre-existing problem glares out. Our wetlands have been previously depleted that much that we can see where this is going and we all know it’s not good. We must go back and look at the lands of our ancestors and forebears. I have seen massive changes in my lifetime as well and would like to share what I can whilst always learning. I have been encouraged to bring in some of my works, oil paintings, but also contribute via story telling in this project. In such a short time we have discussed so much and we all have so much in common.
Text edited by Zahidah Zeytoun Millie – Curator