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Archibald Prize paintings are a timely reminder | Eco News | Western Advocate

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This year, two Archibald Prize finalists relate to the biggest election issue. One entry is of an Aboriginal woman standing in floodwaters and looking squarely at the viewer. The artist, Dhungatti woman Blak Douglas, explained: “Spiritually, we all know that Mother Earth is angry at us.” Her work spoke to me of how all pre-settlement first peoples had intimate attachment to land, waters, sky, all life and landscapes. Their accumulated knowledge, sensitivity and ability to read the ever-changing signs in everything around them enabled them to regulate their lives and communities to keep within its capacities. Today, they keenly feel Earth’s pain and burden of global warming. Their ways of thinking, being and doing still apply all this time later. Another entrant in the Archibald Prize included real solar panels alongside the portrait of Dr Saul Griffith, who is an accomplished engineer and inventor. His book, The Big Switch, lays out a detailed plan – optimistic but feasible – for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment. The artist behind this painting, Jude Rae, said her message “is simple – electrify everything with renewables”. “We have to stop having debates, develop policies and hand the plans to engineers who are ready and waiting to get it done. Like Saul, they want to plug Australia into an abundant future,” she said. Dr Griffith is one of many people whose expertise could be combined in a many pronged approach. Professor Andrew Blakers, a professor of engineering at the Australian National University and an author of many research papers on what’s needed to reach 100 per cent renewable energy, believes Australia could halve its 2030 emissions with minimal cost and inconvenience. Others include Will Stefan, other members of the Climate Council (some of our leading climate scientists, health, and renewable energy and policy experts) and Mike Cannon-Brookes. As the International Panel on Climate Change says: “We have sufficient global capital and liquidity to act to make the changes needed.” What we need is “clear signalling from governments” and stronger policy alignment. The clear eyes of children in School Strike 4 Climate who are not beholden or meshed financially are another of the voices appealing for us to wake up to what may have captured our minds and hearts up until now. May we remember the droughts, bushfires, floods and temperature extremes that have become more normal. This is a vital election. All of us can bring nationwide action a huge step forward by how we vote.

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FINALIST: Jude Rae's work, The big switch - portrait of Dr Saul Griffith.

FINALIST: Jude Rae’s work, The big switch – portrait of Dr Saul Griffith.

This year, two Archibald Prize finalists relate to the biggest election issue.

One entry is of an Aboriginal woman standing in floodwaters and looking squarely at the viewer.

The artist, Dhungatti woman Blak Douglas, explained: “Spiritually, we all know that Mother Earth is angry at us.”

Her work spoke to me of how all pre-settlement first peoples had intimate attachment to land, waters, sky, all life and landscapes.

Their accumulated knowledge, sensitivity and ability to read the ever-changing signs in everything around them enabled them to regulate their lives and communities to keep within its capacities.

Today, they keenly feel Earth’s pain and burden of global warming.

Their ways of thinking, being and doing still apply all this time later.

Another entrant in the Archibald Prize included real solar panels alongside the portrait of Dr Saul Griffith, who is an accomplished engineer and inventor.

His book, The Big Switch, lays out a detailed plan – optimistic but feasible – for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment.

The artist behind this painting, Jude Rae, said her message “is simple – electrify everything with renewables”.

“We have to stop having debates, develop policies and hand the plans to engineers who are ready and waiting to get it done. Like Saul, they want to plug Australia into an abundant future,” she said.

Dr Griffith is one of many people whose expertise could be combined in a many pronged approach.

Professor Andrew Blakers, a professor of engineering at the Australian National University and an author of many research papers on what’s needed to reach 100 per cent renewable energy, believes Australia could halve its 2030 emissions with minimal cost and inconvenience.

Others include Will Stefan, other members of the Climate Council (some of our leading climate scientists, health, and renewable energy and policy experts) and Mike Cannon-Brookes.

As the International Panel on Climate Change says: “We have sufficient global capital and liquidity to act to make the changes needed.”

What we need is “clear signalling from governments” and stronger policy alignment.

The clear eyes of children in School Strike 4 Climate who are not beholden or meshed financially are another of the voices appealing for us to wake up to what may have captured our minds and hearts up until now.

May we remember the droughts, bushfires, floods and temperature extremes that have become more normal.

This is a vital election.

All of us can bring nationwide action a huge step forward by how we vote.

Bernadette Mullaney is a member of Bathurst Community Climate Action Network (BCCAN)

About the author

Krzysztof Stanowicz

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