“Owen sees the writing on the wall” by Michael Pospischil features in the Dying Darling Exhibition.
“Owen sees the writing on the wall” by Michael Pospischil features in the Dying Darling Exhibition. Submitted

Moving art Ontour

A PROFOUNDLY moving portrait exhibition showing the human face of the water debate opens in the Lake Awoonga Room, Boyne Tannum Community Centre on June 1, touring with Queensland Arts Council’s Ontour Onexhibition program.

Striking black and white charcoal life-drawings in this exhibition focus on the struggle-worn faces of the everyday people who have been affected by the dying Darling River Basin – the human face of the ongoing debate over Queensland’s most precious resource: water.

The Dying Darling was created by Darling Downs artist Michael Pospischil and conservationist and writer Sarah Moles, as they travelled the network of rivers stretching from South West Queensland to New South Wales.

 “We spoke to conservationists, irrigators, graziers, scientists, Aboriginal people, politicians and stirrers,” Mr Pospischil said.  “Although I had originally intended to finish these works in oil, I soon realised that the stark charcoal drawings best exposed the bare bones of the damaged landscapes and the pain of its inhabitants and should remain drawings.”

Ms Moles said The Dying Darling was born out of a deep concern at the neglect of the northern rivers of the Murray Darling Basin.

 “While more than a billion dollars had been committed to saving the River Murray, the Darling, our longest river, was all but forgotten and lay in the grip of two droughts, one natural, one man-made.”

Manager of Ontour onexhibition, Mia Kempel, said the exhibition reveals a community determined not to give up the fight to save the country they call home.

 “At once heartbreaking and uplifting, this exhibition will change your perception of regional Australian conservation,” Ms Kempel said.

The exhibition, consisting of 33 framed illustrations and one sculpture, was developed in partnership with the Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery.

For more information on The Dying Darling or Ontour onexhibition visit www.qac.org.au



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