Future Fighters’ 2022 Emma Jennings Oil and acrylic on Australian ecoply board 200 x 75cm
Winner Peoples’ Choice Award Burrinja Climate Change Biennale Award Exhibition 2023.
This is my community, and these are my friends. Natural disasters are occurring all around us now, and I hope this painting helps put a human face to the volunteers who work tirelessly to protect us.
The volunteers who respond to natural disasters are much loved members of our community. Aiden is my son’s good friend from school, and is a Junior volunteer for the Upwey CFA with his sister Lexi. Their dad went with the Strike Team to Mallacoota in 2019/2020, and worked alongside other emergency services after the 2021 storm in the Dandenong Ranges.
Every Wednesday night we hear the siren test and we know they’re at the station training - but they’re not just training for bushfires. They respond at all hours in all weather, putting their lives at risk to save ours, and their families wait anxiously, selflessly at home for them to return.
When five Mountain Ash trees fall through your house, or you’ve been flooded four times in one year, it’s impossible to ignore what Climate Scientists have been telling us for decades. 1.5 degrees is a big deal.
It seems at the moment everyone knows someone who has been impacted by a natural disaster. They are either displaced, lost a loved one, or felt the ripple effect of trauma and grief in their community.
Maybe looking at the human impacts of Climate Change will motivate us to think about it with more compassion, and motivate us to pay attention to the years of scientific evidence, with urgency, hope, and action.
Burrinja Climate Change Biennale Award Exhibition
Sat 3 Dec, 2022 - 17 Feb, 2023 | Burrinja Gallery | Supported by Yarra Ranges Council, Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, and Eastern Regional Libraries.
To see more of my work visit Emma Jennings Gallery, Olinda Village.