Lastings (Cider Gum & Forty Spots)

Much of my work explores the themes of Sovereignty, Legacy and Memory.

I make use of antique furniture and bric-a-brac, old homesteads, birds and native animals to weave narratives of the landscape and to ponder the spaces we, along with our Colonial legacy, fit within this rapidly changing world. I specifically use endangered and extinct native species to highlight the ideas of balance and equity– the impacts on the natural environmental and on climate as we progress and proliferate.

In this work I have depicted the Miena Cider Gum – a critically endangered eucalypt found only around the central plateau town of Miena, and the Forty Spotted Pardalote – also critically endangered, now only found in the wilds of Maria Island. Both of these species’ numbers have dwindled due to human activity and both face uncertain futures. In the painting, the tree and the birds appear in an altered environment – the imagery speaks of displacement and what that means, not only for endangered species, but for all of us.

Melitta Perry


Acrylic on canvas