Our Home Is Girt By Sea

Tropical Waters, 2004, 10cmh x 148cmw, aka “Ebb&Flow 1

I love this line from Australian’s national anthem, “Advance Australia Fair” though plenty of people can’t stand it. They have a real problem with the wonderful word ‘girt’, past participle of the verb ‘gird’ meaning to surround, secure, enclose, strengthen … and other synonyms. Of course, for most people around the world, hearing our own national anthem played invokes all the wonderful feeelings of being part of our country, some of them enhanced by being forced to remain overseas rather longer than intended, thanks to the current Covid-19 pandemic. But this is no rant about the painful troubles and inconveniences brought to us by the virus that has turned the world upside down this year.

Next April there’s a SAQA virtual Oceania Region regional conference. And naturally there’s to be an exhibition of work by SAQA members of this region. It will open in New Zealand during the conference in mid April, then travel to a number of venues around the region in the following two years. Naturally, being Aussie, I am part of this region even though I’m currently in Uruguay. Although the prospectus details are just being finalised for immediate release, a few days ago we learned that the theme is “Distance And Diversity” and have confirmation that the dimensions are 60cmw x 100cmh. As you realise, there’s a short lead time until entries close, so even as I write, there are probably a few who have already started their intrepretation of this broad theme. Though I’m thinking about possibilities, I’m not ready to start yet. I need to rationalise and put away lots of fabrics from the latest works that I delivered to my photographer this morning. As I’m on the organising committee I do feel I need to submit at least one work for jurying!

In South pacific region known as Oceania, there are 14 independent nations, and one thing we do all have in common is that we are all girt by sea 🙂 There are many other things to think about for inspiration, too, like communications, history, flora, fauna, colonisation, cultural and economic differences, tourism, envoronmental challenges and so much more … but I still can’t get the girt by sea thing out of my mind!

It’s been quite a long time since I produced something watery …

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