Mind our Mangroves

We walked to the mangrove close to Kokoda Education Center on Saturday. It's right there, a small patch of halophytes, their sharp green leaves shining in the light, tasting like salt, their roots deep and up above the saline water of the Paramatta river. It's quiet and beautiful.

The magrove used to run all along the river, but nowadays there's, sadly, not much left of it. It's been either destroyed by the factories, either ripped off and replaced by walls to "solidify the bank", or even poisoined and cut off to clear the view, so residents enjoy "their" river.

Today, the public slowly discovers the complexity and necessity of such coastal vegetation.

Filtering the wastes and soil washed by the rains, the mangroves keep our rivers and oceans clean. They also protect the coastal areas from erosion, storm surge such as hurricane and tsunami. Their massive root system efficiently dissipate waves energy. In other words, its role in the eco-system is crucial.

The City of Canada Bay knows it well and since 2017, with the help of Ju'eta Amir, their Health, Building & Environment Support Officer, funds have gone towards free educational workshops.

This year, Ju'eta contacted Chichi Bracken who runs Artspark Studio in Rozelle, to get involved in a series of art workshops.

Chichi and I discussed how ink painting could be the ideal medium for conveying the ecological concern of the City of Canada Bay. There are 4 workshops planned. One was held last Saturday and this is how it was like:

I'll run another ink workshop at the end of the month on the 28th and Chichi will run the two others in September and November.

If you wish to take part into one of these free workshop, register your interest on eventbrite.

Do it quick, places are limited and July workshop is already booked!

#inkworkshop #mangrove #ecosystem #ecology #mindourmangrove #inkpainting #CityofCanadaBay #Artspark


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.