Chloe Watfern


Fragile tethers: Art after floods

Some things won’t change, a woman told me in a small room on Bundjalung Country, filled with other women weaving; the smell of raffia and pillows. It was raining so we couldn’t sit outside. I began to weave a circle.


We thought we trusted the bush to be there, but then fire comes, Ruth said. We thought we could turn to the river, but then it overflows. The places we take refuge don’t feel so safe. But we can count on galaxies and bacteria and stones to be around long after we are gone.


Driving my carbon-belching hatchback from one colonial settlement to another, I listened to a book about microbes under a slivered moon. Fires flanked me at one point on the road. They weren’t close enough to scare, contained, but there: the contents of my gut, and the flames.


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Unley Museum Cementa NAVA Country Arts SA