Saturday, November 27, 2010


I am currentlyworking on an oil painting which I am going to call '$oils Ain't $oils...Anymore' [close up detail image below]. Regular readers of this BLOG will recognise that it is another painting inspired by my concern about the influx of Coal Seam Gas and open cut mining in areas of Queensland where prime agricultural land exists. When the painting is finished I will upload a photograph. Here are links to previous posts:

                                          Detail of, as yet unfinished $oils Ain't $oils...Anymore

I attended a public forum 'Environmental Implications of Coal Seam Gas and Coal-to-Liquids Projects' at the University of Qld on Monday this week. The speakers included 2 soil scientists, a hydrologist, 2 Government reps, a mining industry rep, Greens Senator Elect Larissa Waters [also an environmental lawyer], 4 spokesmen from farmer action groups and a lawyer from Dalby.

The soil scientists emphasised that the types of soils, which exist in the threatened areas of the Bowen and Surat Basins, cannot be rehabilitated. Issues concerning water included, across aquifer leekages, unknown outcomes of aquifer fault disturbance, depletion of aquifers, disruped feeder water supplies, salination, silting.
Issues affecting farming practices, and thus viability and efficiency, included above ground pipes and roads to each CSG well, criss crossing farming paddocks. The CSG wells, estimated aroound 40,000, are only around 1 ha apart. Access roads to wells will disrupt farming [ploughing, harvesting etc], disprupt natural water flow across flood plains leading to pooling of water, silting and potential salination. Social, business and health issues were also discussed. One alarming outcome is that farm values will [and have] drop because people will not buy when uncertainty exists. As valuations drop, at some point, triggers for banks to start agitating will happen. The general outcome of the forum, which was expressed very clearly, was that what's happening is 'madness'.

*I am reminded of a quote I have posted before ... by Lord Martin Rees, Royal Astonomer and Professor of cosmology and astrophysics and Master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, from his book 'Our Final Century' . I have previously written about his books' influences on my work.

It may not be absurd hyperbole—indeed, it may not even be an overstatement—to assert that the most crucial location in space and time (apart from the big bang itself) could be here and now. I think the odds are no better than fifty-fifty that our present civilisation on Earth will survive to the end of the present century. Our choices and actions could ensure the perpetual future of life (not just on Earth, but perhaps far beyond it, too). Or in contrast, through malign intent, or through misadventure, twenty-first century technology could jeopardise life’s potential, foreclosing its human and posthuman future. What happens here on Earth, in this century, could conceivably make the difference between a near eternity filled with ever more complex and subtle forms of life and one filled with nothing but base matter.

Martin Rees, Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind’s Future in This Century—On Earth and Beyond (New York: Basic Books, 2003) p.7-8

If you'd like to sign a petition for a morotorium on CSG please visit this link: 

 NOW TO SOMETHING ELSE!  The Donkey by GK Chesterton

I painted the work on paper above when I was 16. It is an illustration for G.K Chesterton's wonderful poem 'The Donkey' [see below]. As a child, I loved this poem and I still do. It was the one I would recite when I had to recite a poem! And, my children have also recited it many times at school, eisteddfods  and so on,

Despite all the difficulties faced by the donkey, he/she holds a wonderful secret...he/she carried Jesus. This is a simple interpretation and other interpretations can delve further into ideas of self worth, overcoming adversity and so on. I like this poem because the 'secret' gives the donkey a sense of peace. The first 3 stanzas speak of turmoil, like the kind I imagine in the twirling, whirling of the outer vortex, aka life. Yet, the donkey's secret 'knowing' provides a sense of peace, as if re-entering the memory propels the donkey to that peaceful place at the vortex core...that place where stillness reveals those things we did not know we could see, hear, feel or touch. Indeed, the poem says, 'I keep my secret still'.

Regular readers of my BLOG will know of my interest in vortexes and that my next solo exhibition will be called 'Vortex'. Here's are 2 links to previous Vortex posts for you,

G.K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

So, until next time!
Cheers Kathryn

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