Friday, July 23, 2021


Australian Landscape - A Metaphor Oil on linen 61 x 66 cm 2021

As I write this the world is in the grip of the COVID19 pandemic. Mutations of the virus pose further threats. In Australia slow vaccine roll outs have placed our population in a vulnerable position. Despite having time, due to quite good pandemic management in 2020, authorities failed to secure enough vaccines, plan for distribution, formulate public education activities, foresee virus mutations as a threat and resolve weaknesses in quarantine arrangements. 

The lack of imagination in our political class [around the world] demonstrates diminished capacities to learn from history [even recent histories], to understand a globalised world, and to adopt a sophisticated mix of science and social science-based responses to the pandemic. A lack of imagination reveals poor capacities of simultaneously accounting for macro and micro concerns.

What if circumstance get out of hand as people become more frustrated and actions are increasingly politicised? Will violence and oppressive responses occur? As people lose faith, for whatever reason, in political leadership, will social unrest escalate?

As an Art Historian I can tell you there is plenty of visual evidence, over centuries, that sickness, plague and pandemic + revolution, anarchy and general social unrest are horrific, and often entwined. Art History shows the horrors of death, sickness, destruction, fear, hatred, hubris, ego, inequality, hunger and hopelessness. I argue that all politicians, policy advisors and really, just everyone, needs to learn some Art History! It might compensate for a lack of imagination....

There's a few grim images of pandemic for you to see in The Black death: Europe's Deadliest Pandemic in Human History

As I write this Australia and Australians are also experiencing anxieties about:

  • Political resistance to climate change mitigation, in some instances a growing disconnect between  electorates and their political representatives. 
  • Allegations of war crimes by some Special Forces operating in Afghanistan. 
  • How our political class is handling our relationship with China. 
  • Financial insecurity during the pandemic and post-pandemic.
  • The US - Australia alliance.
  • War talk.
  • You can add to the list here!

Australian Landscape - A Metaphor 
After reading all of the above I will let you interpret this new painting! 

If you are a regular reader you will note the tree-of-life and the geolocation grid superimposed on the landscape.



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