Ever Present Absence

Heathcote Cultural Precinct (HCP) has just opened an exhibition showing work of artists associated with the precinct. The exhibition is called ‘HCP – In an Era of Isolation’. Each of us were invited to submit a work that we made during lockdown or which might reflect on our experience of lockdown. The work I submitted is a hand-coloured linocut print called Ever Present Absence.

Ever Present Absence is part of my Waratah Series, a series of images combining the waratah flower (Telopea speciosissima) with thylacine motifs. The series was begun during the Australian 2020 bushfires and continued through the COVID-19 lockdown, and seeks to explore beauty, ephemerality, and loss through combining these two iconic images. The thylacine and the waratah reference impacts on Australian fauna and flora following colonisation and the ongoing degradation of the environment subsequently (waratahs are now a protected species, ‘in the wild’). Telopea (from the Greek word telopos, meaning ‘seen from afar’), is also a way of talking about the many years that we have known about climate change and its likely effects.

Ever Present Absence/ Hand-coloured linocut print on Magnani 300gsm paper/ Edition of 10/ Waratah series.

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