Category: Arts & Culture

Stories from the Wildworld
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Stories from the Wildworld

Suzy Swamphen has never heard of the Life Magic and doesn’t know she is part of a Tribe. But her life is changed forever when Pip the Squirrel Glider and Roo the Kangaroo arrive at Second Lagoon, seeking help to save Pip’s bushland home. Stories from the Wildworld started out as a narrative, non-fiction book about...

Bouncing Back: a story of hope
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Bouncing Back: a story of hope

More than ever before, the children of today have an uncertain environmental future, not knowing what species will still exist in their lifetime. Bouncing Back: An Eastern Barred Bandicoot Story tells the story of one of southeastern Australia’s most iconic threatened species. It is also a story of hope. While speaking with Rohan Cleave, the author...

Fighting apathy: exploring art’s role in the climate crisis
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Fighting apathy: exploring art’s role in the climate crisis

It was intuition rather than rigorous research that informed my decision to develop an exhibition that explores ‘humanity’s relationship with the environment’ for my first solo-curated show. I certainly had my doubts about the concept, namely whether the exhibition could actually have an impact on the subject I am seeking to visually represent. Undertaking research...

The Selfish Tree
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The Selfish Tree

‘Sometimes people ask me,’ said the Blue Gum*, ‘Don’t you mind when the termites hollow out your innards, your limbs drop, the parrots chew your skin to make new holes, the moths and beetles tunnel into your wood, and the cicadas suck your sap?’ ‘Yes, I sometimes wonder that,’ said the Squirrel Glider. ‘And I...

‘Brown birds in a brown landscape’
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‘Brown birds in a brown landscape’

Migratory shorebirds are considered our most endangered group of birds. Described as ‘brown birds in a brown landscape’, they are notoriously difficult to identify and are adept at remaining hidden in their threatened habitats; those mud flats and in-between tidal zones that are often not seen as distinct environments. It is this invisibility that has...

Phasmid: the indefatigable invertebrate
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Phasmid: the indefatigable invertebrate

Children’s books have a long history of portraying hopeful tales of adventure and survival through fictional characters and fantastical worlds. Phasmid, however, is of a different nature. A true story told through lyrical words and unique illustrations, this picture book is as informative and fascinating as it is beautiful. Written by Rohan Cleave, invertebrate zookeeper...

What can we learn from billions of years of being part of an evolving ecosystem?
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What can we learn from billions of years of being part of an evolving ecosystem?

In telling stories of evolution, we recognise our complicity, our connectedness, our unity with everything as a writhing, chemical concoction. Evolution is a driving force, a process that weaves chemical cocktails into material entities and simultaneously unravels certainties into potential futures made up of our ancestral legacies. It helps us recognise that the very first...

Painting the Kangaroo Apple
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Painting the Kangaroo Apple

In early 2008, I exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Botanical Art Exhibition in London. The theme for my display of eight paintings was Australian Bush Foods. Completing so many large paintings had taken me a long two years, working hard to source the specimens and do the work. Finally, all done, I was...