Calling for Rain
With the support of East Gippsland Art Gallery (EGAG)in Bairnsdale and the Great Alpine Gallery in Swifts Creek, I have been running a series of workshops with rural East Gippsland communities in March 2018. These workshops were made possible thanks to the support of the East Gippsland Shire Council who offered me a Quick Response Grant.
Calling for Rain at East Gippsland Art Gallery
Below is a visual diary, day by day, of my time in East Gippsland.
WHAT'S WITH EAST GIPPSLAND?
During my residency in Swifts Creek in August 2017, I was deeply touched by the Tambo Valley residents’ generosity and sensitivity. Their closeness and poetic relationship to nature have opened my creative eyes and made me discover what it truly means to live in rural Victoria.
For the last two years, there has been very little rain in this part of the world. The land is dry and the winds stiff. To ward off bad luck I paint black clouds, heavy with rain and storm. People’s concern for the drought has driven me to 'call' for rain.
CALLING FOR RAIN
The opening of Calling for Rain was held on the 16th of March at the East Gippsland Art Gallery. This exhibition gathered a series of portraits from local farmers and residents as well as some landscapes inspired by the drought and the need of rain. The workshops participants' artworks were also exhibited alongside mine. Together, we asked nature for protection and rain.
Because people in East Gippsland are having a hard time. Repeated droughts are an everyday challenge that leads to eco-anxiety. Memories are sour of the recent devastating fires. We need to acknowledge East Gippsland hardship!