“There is a higher authority – that beyond our comprehension – right up there in the sky. And unless we understand that, that’s got to be respected, then we’re just fools. We’re going to be nailed.” [Barnaby Joyce, 25 Dec 2019, whilst feeding out.]
This post constituted Joyce’s visceral response to the impact of drought and bush fires. Is this a reference to God – up there – one characterised by hurling fire and brimstone on those below, or simply a plea for understanding and respect of Nature’s ecosystems? Insurance companies use “acts of God” exceptions to renege on claim payments after natural disasters. Philosophers have ruminated on the God/Nature binary for centuries. Spinoza used a term Substance to refer to both God and Nature – “Deus sive Natura”. Today, nations struggle to remediate the anthroprogenic damage done to the Substance around us.
This artwork imagines Barnaby’s reading of a dolerite sentinel at the sea’s edge; a reverie of fantastic notions and delusions. Perhaps these shapes and colours were once embraced as elements in the aboriginal ancestors’ cultural totems.
Acrylic paint on aluminum composite, folded edges, aluminium frame