Author: Margaret Somerville
An echidna lying dead on the road, soft pink palms turned upwards; floating across the Bokhara Plains at dusk in a luminous golden globe of light; massive sacred carved tree trunks locked in a wire cage; sun on river alive with pattern of fish trap rocks; body immersed in artesian water watching the Southern Cross silver into enormous indigo sky….
Water in a Dry Land was conceived through images of country and realised through the growing body of art and story following the waterways of the iconic Murray-Darling Basin. In a time of deep drought, when the world’s attention was drawn to the imminent death of the system of water, the Murray-Darling Basin became a symbol of the unsustainable ways we relate to water globally. Developed in collaboration with U’Alayi artist/researcher Chrissiejoy Marshall to articulate meanings otherwise unsayable, other Aboriginal artists responded to her request to sing the waterways back to life. The images emerge from landscapes and waterways, cultural stories and human interactions, tracing the inevitable entanglements of writer and artist in the deeper meanings of water.
Purchase Water in a Dry Land: Place-Learning Through Art and Story through the Routledge site.