“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.