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

               Exhibition Opening

Below is a visual diary, day by day, of my time in 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.


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!

Born in France, Sofie Dieu’s first encounter with art was through church. With a penchant for ritual and spirituality, the artist is best known for her fragile, sombre, and sometimes violent ink paintings and textile works.


Poetic and humanist, her practice draws on her journeys to China and Australia. She explores how identity and memory fluctuate according to their immediate environment. Landscapes, people, secrecy, healing, and the dichotomy between light and darkness are some of her recurring themes.


Multi-art prizes and award finalist, her work was included in the Sydney North Art Prize, Waterhouse Natural Science prize and the Contemporary Art Award amongst others. In 2016, she worked on the Camperdown Cemetery installation for Sydney Biennale. In 2017, her work will be shown during Vivid and Mental Health Month in Sydney.