On the 21st of September 2020 a pod of 200 Pilot whales beached themselves on Ocean Beach near the entrance to Macquarie Harbour.
On exactly the same day in 2022, 220 Pilot whales beach themselves on the same location. While the reason for such strandings remains an enigma ,there is no doubt about the sorrow and sense of loss such tragic deaths cause.
An overcast day, a lonely landscape of sky ocean and a retreating tide. The once graceful and fluid mammal lies weighted to the beach, dropped like a sack of flesh and bone whose taught blue black skin will soon sag lank and festering.It is alone and motionless , conscious of its indignity and impending death.Its spirit reduced to a faint and slowing pulse, gently easing itself from its corporality ,to float freely upward on the silent air ,while the other dying whales sing helplessly to each other as they lie slumped and stranded.

Tim Burns


Oil on linen