Welcome to PhotoVoltaicPoetry
poems ~ photographs ~ videos ~ music ~ essais – through a green lens
I am a writer and photographer, passionate about art and the natural world and deeply concerned about the future.
Wyn and I live beside Jagun Nature Reserve in Gumbaynggirr Jagun [Gumbaynggirr country].
What a disaster these fires, perhaps a billion animals dead, and a number of people. The Government at State and Federal level have been so slow . It’s terrible, we were close to fires before Christmas and we know people who lost their homes, but the worst of them happened down south. Approximately 70 nationally threatened species have had at least 50% of their range burnt, while nearly 160 threatened species have had more than 20% burnt. More
One piece of bright news from the fires, the Upper Kalang is not going to be logged. It’s been a long battle with lots of protests in the face of proposed logging – demonstrations, concerts, letters written and a camp guarding the old growth forest.
Our village community association are organising a Koala Day with Nambucca Valley Council to hand out food trees to landowners and educate the public, even getting a koala sniffer dog, and running a poetry competition. Proposed date May 2. Given the devastation inflicted on the koala population (and of course all the other species), this region may have an important healthy population. See The Great Koala National Park proposal.
Late January was in Sydney for an eco-poetry anthology launch of Planet in Peril: Photography, Art and Poetry, edited by Isabelle Kenyon, AND! raising funds for WWF and The Climate Coalition @ the new larger (and wonderfully welcoming) Garden Linge Creative Space, Enmore Road, Newtown.
Managed to find time to catch the large Cornelia Parker show at the MCA.
I had seen her most famous work, known as the exploding shed, a few times before at the Tate, but this installation seemed more entrancing. She collected bric a brac from op shops and friends donated bits and pieces, but a shame it wasn’t an old man’s shed. A tiny portion of space that became a place of refuge and dreams, that was untidy, but which had an individual’s imprint everywhere. One new bit of information I was told, the British army let her push the button.
The last day of 2019
Dawn’s red lip kisses the horizon, you know how that goes, but then the sun lays down its red carpet and as a surprise, fifty or more swallows thread the air round me (too fast to catch in this early light). So I beachcomb and find a jewel.
After breakfast and our usual bird survey at Urunga I watch a red bucket filling the two rivers and a boat crossing between them.
The Overwintering project at Coffs Regional Gallery with art books inspired by my images and poems until Feb 1.
9 Nov. The dawn chorus failed this morning.
8 Nov. New bushfires in our region (70 today, many out of control).New analysis confirms the relationship between climate drivers such as El Niño, climate change and the Australian bushfire season.
National Bird Week, Oct 21
A great project to help save the Kalang from logging – getting artists involved and selling their work for the cause. For info for artists see here.
This visitor to our garden brings bad news.
Photography is a marvellous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intellects, an art that excites the most astute minds – and one that can be practised by any imbecile. Nadar
Climate Action Day, Friday 20 Sept. Coffs Harbour
There is so much that the world will miss as the environmental catastrophe unfolds: Sat (natural intimacy); Sun (natural estuaries); Mon (A Bushwalk); Tues (Gardens); Wed (National Parks); Thur (The Ocean); Fri (Birding); Sat (Birds, music, art and sport); Sun (bushwalk as worship).
Extinction Elegies: Write a poem, save a quoll!
The Budji Bim eel trap site has just been added to the World Heritage list (July 2019).
The eel traps in south-west Victoria were created about 6,600 years ago by the Gunditjmara people and is older than the pyramids, the Acropolis and Stonehenge. The site also has remains of about 300 round stone huts which would be a surprise to most non-indigenous Australians.
The Gumbaynggirr have extensive fish traps at Arrawara, just north of Cofsf Harbour.
The Overwintering Project
is a national program developed by Kate Gorringe-Smith to raise awareness of migratory shorebirds and to make them and their habitat visible.
Coffs Harbour is getting on board with a number of elements and a show in December. I will be working with students on creating poetry for this event and have been making videos, taking photographs and writing poetry to inspire the Book Art Object collective. See more here.
Many congratulations Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian Kurdish journalist, a refugee illegally detained, winner of the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature.
Hope for whole: poets speak up to Adani – download for free here. My poem is here. The decline of high profile mammal species such as the koala and platypus is ongoing and yet under NSW’s new land-clearing laws, 99% of koala habitat can be bulldozed if it’s on private land. Protest against these awful laws.
Your Silence On Manus And Nauru Is Your Complicity, Lauren Bull, New Matilda – ‘What Australia has done to people seeking asylum is the responsibility of all Australians, writes Lauren Bull. If you don’t exercise your democracy, you’ll lose it. It’s as simple as that. What is happening on Manus right now is the direct result of decades of silent acquiescence, of politicians being emboldened by a public who don’t hold them to account, and of the normalisation of cruelty.’
Australia built a hell for refugees on Manus. The shame will outlive us all, Richard Flanagan (Nov 22, 2017). We went to a screening of ‘Hope Road‘ in Bellingen, a local Fundraiser for Refugees. It is a film by Tom Zubrycki about Zacharia Machiek and a few supporters who want to raise money to build a school back in his home village in South Sudan. It reveals the difficulties of living in Australia as a refugee, the difficulty of fundraising and the awful ongoing conflict in Sudan.
The news today (Nov 1) from Mannus is appalling. For the latest reports see the Guardian. Back in August, Paul Bongiorno gave an impassioned account of the government’s duplicity – especially in the light of the leaked telephone conversation between our Prime Minister and the US President. Hear Paul here. The Local Refugee Group Facebook page is here.
After thirty years in the heart of Sydney, I now live on the Mid North Coast of NSW beside a forest by the sea.
a small Jagun poem
a haiku might grasp
momentarily for ever
the essence of incoming spring
but I’ve just made a photograph
of winter light
graphic on burnt Blackbutt
and stuffed my pockets
with Senna seeds
Yaarrijunga-ngarraan galayaam Gumbaynggirr girrwaa garla-ngarraan galagilagunga, gungan gulam jalum galnyarr giiliwaw
I wish to acknowledge the Gumbaynggirr people (nation) and pay respects to the traditional owners and custodians both past and present.