Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem at the Beeliar Wetlands; Haven on Earth.
When Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, crying, he says to them "(...) do not cry for me, but for yourselves, and for your children".
At the Beeliar Wetlands, there are people from a large cross section of society up in arms against the Barnett Government for building the Roe 8 highway through the wetlands, which is a haven to many native species, some endangered, and a place of important cultural heritage. There are many families protesting, and a very large proportion of women.
My intention was not to paint portraits of three individual women, but to represent the type of women I would like to see more in contemporary art. I initially began painting groups of women as protestors taking the place of Saints, but in the process, zoomed in on three prominent figures; the campaign leader Kate Kelly; Corina Abraham, fighting the high court to reject the approval of the highway based on Noongar cultural heritage; and Dr Nandi Chinna, a poet with a major interest in the history of WA's wetlands and swamps.
To me these women are virtuous in their morality, intelligence, determination, and spirituality. Spirituality, for me, is inseparable from an awareness of nature and creation as being sacred.
The Stations of the Cross exhibition is held each year at Wesley Uniting Church in the City. 15 Western Australian contemporary artists are invited and commissioned to respond to one of the Stations of the Cross of Jesus Christ with an artwork. The artists do not need to be religious and are asked to interpret one of the Stations from a personal and humanistic perspective. The resulting exhibition and community event provides an opportunity for a diverse cross-section of society to converse, and engage with ideas and concerns common to all of humanity.
In 2017, the exhibition was curated by Claire Bushby. The Station that I responded to was Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.