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On May 31 1915, 101 years ago today, Judith Wright was born.

And the latest news is…

Jeff Aschmann’s new CD, which was launched by Bob Brown on Tuesday May 24 in Moruya in the presence of about 200 people. Here is the link to the 24 page booklet accompanying the CD with all the lyrics etc. You can also find details about how to contact Jeff to secure a copy.


This time last year, for Two Fires.


100 words

Ancient jewel – immutable,
or frail earth, sucked dry by man’s naked greed?
A future foreseen but ignored,
we betray our voiceless children
with weakness and inaction.

Careless, complacent, blind,
we drown in dust,
pure waters lost for gold,
wisdom hidden in shadows,
dwarfed, trembling, weary.

(forest, rainbow, orchid, eagle…
barely imagined, only a dream)

Choice burns its message on the mountains –
wither, unhearing,
or waken truth,
intent on a new and gentler existence?

In another time, ill-willing death,
we transcend the past, mourning, wounded,
but with love and peace
dance into a tranquil sunlight
touched by hope’s kiss.

CM,  April 2015


The 2015 Two Fires Festival included an exhibition called Deadly Friends, and I was one of three non-Indigenous artists participating. When I was asked to be in this exhibition, the first thing I did was to read A Human Pattern, an anthology of Judith Wright’s poems that Judith herself had selected, a copy of which she gave me after I painted her portrait in 1991. As I read through the poems, I collected words – everything from nouns to articles and pronouns – with a view to writing a poem of my own. The words I chose were a reflection of the way/s I was feeling at the time, and when I finished the book I wrote the poem. With this year the centenary of her birth, I decided to make it 100 words in length. When the poem was completed, the day I finished the book, the painting began, and the works in the exhibition, along with the words and poem, were my response. My installation was completed at the opening, when I read the poem and then put it with the words and rest of the artwork in its corner at Altenburg and Co. Photos of the full installation will be here soon.

Motion towards 2015 oil on four canvas panels 650 x 1630 installed

Motion towards
oil on four canvas panels
650 x 1630 installed


The words

apocalyptic naked heavy delicate unliving abandoned crackling bleached lost frail snarling same sane dry endless own tranquil senseless deep alone empty broken forgotten torn restless centuries shelter water shouted for I we blood blind message you wild mountains earth deserted me fuming and fruit them our spin season unbuild the from with shrieking time drown trembling clear tender pure careless unaware tolerable smothering wakeful unhearing voiceless strong weary economical irrelevant unshaped insane unhurt thirsty soaked intent desolate stillness struggle moon world heart spin spiral end infinity eternity man dust body children patience dream leaves thought wisdom answer sign waters orchid choice birth death are mouth of breath clouds love home edge future tree fire child weakness world’s wound flesh greed gold shadows silence mourning pain ground bodies strength dominion jewel exchange grief lament shock truth gift anguish depth loss rainbow birds gnawed touches dying surrender cracked suffer forest rock sleep gone being create take cries reshape sucked dance/s waken wither made move love draw find scatters hardening sucked break dwarfed was is inherit glow burns make dances creaks scar measure murmur weeping shone locked feeds their my his your everything ignorant its ancient on or as in by till fall under weep learn vanishing find groped imagine foreseen uphold cease wander let driven strangling easy immoderate spoken found read sleeping speaking writhes drinks reflowed wither trust falling howled lost crumbling complacent reluctant green old easterly gentler new unaccepted uneasy flexible young immutable hidden inaction retribution justice ground remnant pattern darkness existence fusion kiss words asymmetry thrust clench undid weep expecting hoping ill-willing vanishes assaulted abandon tug remember condemn chill wounded dark paradox encounter shocks tempt over up out towards a through away another below none only that gloriously barely strength failure emptiness rhythm ignorance past midnight’s peace simplicity time innocence signature hope eagle haze haste silences space sunlight gullies language tree fear word done touched die transplanted undoing transcend seek carving fail betray snatch harvested burn left



This artist’s book Life in the catchment, which can be viewed here in full, was produced for the exhibition that was part of the 2011 Two Fires Festival of Arts and Activism.

The edition is limited to 25 copies and is printed to order on Canson paper, with the slip cover on Hahnemühle.

I bind it with Irish linen thread, and each copy is signed and includes an original paper-cut on the colophon page derived from the paper-cut image in the body of the book. The colophon page paper-cut is not shown in this online version.

See also the gallery page of this site for some of the drawn, painted and cut illustrations.