Art, Voice & Justice Exhibition: ‘Aquawhen II?’

The experiences of Country and the people of the Barka-Lower Darling River are the focus of a unique art, voice and justice exhibition at St Paul’s Cathedral, in partnership with the Water Justice Hub within the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University.

The exhibition, Aquawhen II? includes pictorials commissioned by the Water Justice Hub and work by artists Rix Lee and Tom Horne. They are based on the lived experiences of 33 residents of Western New South Wales who appeared before the 2019 Citizens’ Inquiry on the Health of the Barka-Darling River.

The exhibition also includes nine paintings by the Cathedral’s Artist-in-Residence Glenn Loughrey; eight haiku calligraphy pieces (words by Maurice Nevile with calligraphy by Jill Robertson); and a short film made in 2019-20 of the Barka-Lower Darling River (created by Otis Filley & Dan Schulz) including the sounds of the Barka-Darling and the relationships between water and life; and ‘Justice Posters’ based on selected research of some members of the Water Justice Hub.

“This exhibition is a powerful reminder of the importance of listening to the voices of those who are directly impacted by the health of the Barka-Darling River. It is a moving tribute to the beauty and resilience of Country and the people who call it home.”

The Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of Melbourne

“As an artist, it has been an honour to collaborate with the Water Justice Hub and the residents of Western New South Wales to bring the beauty and stories of the Barka-Darling River to life through my paintings. This exhibition is a powerful call to action for water justice.”

The Revd Canon Assoc. Prof. Glenn Loughrey, Cathedral Artist-in-Residence.

Professor Quentin Grafton, Director of the Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy (CWEEP) at Crawford School of Public Policy, said the exhibition is about telling ‘water stories’ and giving an opportunity for ‘Voices of the River’, including Barkandji (People of the Barka), who appeared before the 2019 Citizens’ Inquiry to be heard. 

“This exhibition is a unique opportunity to connect to people, to place and across time. It’s an ‘everywherewhen’ experience that invites everyone from everywhere to connect to water in a very special place. We call this experience Aquawhen II?

Professor Quentin Grafton

This free exhibition is open to the public during the Cathedral’s normal visiting hours and runs until 6 February 2023.