Natural history drawing demands dedication. The artist must closely observe their subject matter, taking time to appreciate and learn its structure and habit. Careful drawing requires sustained focus and patience, allowing time for contemplation and meditation. The quest for faithful representation becomes an act of veneration.
In this spirit, I’ve drawn a scribbly gum, growing where suburbia meets native bush at Sydney’s fringe. Its charred and hollowed heart is a legacy of bushfires past, revealing damage so severe it’s a wonder it survived. Yet it thrives, the result of millennia of evolution, able to both withstand the destructive force of fire and embrace its regenerative potential. It embodies the fine line between destruction and survival, fragility and resilience, the precarious balance common to all ecosystems and their constituents. For now, for this tree, the needle tips towards the side of life.
We know this balance is shifting, with more frequent and ferocious fires due to human-driven climate change, and our insatiable encroach. We look to the future with trepidation.
This drawing is to honour and cherish a scarred, but so-far resilient survivor, and to memorialize this poignant moment in history.