Project 22 involved 22 artists given the same book – The Brisbane River: a pictorial history – and each one was asked to alter it in their own distinct style. The project was organised by Lena Tisdall as part of her Textile Arts Academy, held in 2013. This is my altered book. Photographs by Geoff White Photography.
One of the most striking things of the Floods of 2011 was the response by thousands of people to volunteer their time and labour to help clean up. There was an amazing out pouring of love and concern for our neighbours that is so rarely seen on a large scale. It was like the river came up and washed away the mud from our eyes so we could see our neighbours unhindered by the baggage of social expectations and prejudice. The flood turned many people’s lives upside down but out of it came the true heart of the people of Brisbane.
This work celebrates that time. The book’s cover is turned upside down and out of it flows all the muddy pages with people’s stories from the past. The gold lining to those stories is the response of people to the disaster: seeking to help and restore, to care and be cared for.
The book, The Brisbane River: A pictorial history, was supplied by Lena Tisdall and altered by the artist, Susan Pietsch using acrylic paint. The pages were disassembled and cut to represent the outpouring of both heart ache and heart felt care for the affected.