The idea for this work came during the fires of 2020, when I saw a video of a woman rescuing a badly burned koala from a forest of burning embers.
When I saw her run through the smouldering forest in her sandshoes to pick up a scorched and bewildered koala and wrap it up in the t-shirt, she just took off her back, I thought: this is the kind of person that has the qualities that I want to lead us.
I think that part of the problem we have in responding to the climate crisis is that we see ourselves as separate from nature — above it or outside of it — not part of it. It’s as if we see it as ‘nature’s problem’ nor ours. However, sometimes I see something that makes me realise that this is not how it has to be.
In this work we see two girls, perhaps 12 or 13. This is the generation that’s been told that they have to save the world because my generation certainly can't seem to do it. To me these two girls are a representation of both pain and hope. They remind us that, despite everything, there actually are people who are willing to do something to help. And that anyone can be that person.
It shows us an image of a human/animal relationship where the humans are caring for the animal. We see care and empathy but also strength and determination. We see the resilience of nature in the koala and value of empathy in the girls.
Now, I’m not saying that this is how the world is. But it is how I would like to think it could be. And sometimes you have to an make an image of how the future might be in order to have something to aim for.