Art defines refuge risk
PHOTO: Jamie Kronborg
A NORTH East environmental advocate who in recent years has raised more than $ 30,000 to protect a central western Queensland woodland nature refuge has won praise for her work from a Beechworth friend.
Linda Bunn said Maureen Cooper, who is exhibiting at Mayday Hills a diverse collection of textiles, artworks and photographs to celebrate the richness of Bimblebox Nature Refuge, said “sometimes we don’t see the angel in our midst”.
Bimblebox, an 8000- hectare property gazetted as a refuge in 1993, sustains an estimated 95 per cent of its original vegetation species and is home to many flora and fauna of conservation significance, including the black- throated finch.
The tiny 15- gram bird – Poephila cincta cincta – is listed by the federal government’s Environment Australia and the New South www.omadvertiser.com.au Wales government as endangered and by Queensland as vulnerable.
But preliminary permits have now been issued for coal mining in the area, challenging the refuge – which is completely surrounded by cleared land – about 500 kilometres west of Rockhampton, between Emerald and Barcaldine.
Maureen describes the exhibition of almost 40 photographs, 14 artworks and three textile works by conservationists, Bimblebox supporters and artists as a journey through the refuge and its vulnerable landscape.
She said it showed people what would be lost if the proposed Chine First mine is allowed to proceed.
The exhibition is open at Mayday Hills Arts Society’s Grevillea Gallery between 11: 30am and 3: 30pm Thursday- Monday until the end of January, next year.
Some of the works, and books and calendars, are for sale.
CREATIVE ADVOCATE: Maureen Cooper (right) with friends Philip and Linda Bunn and daughter Michelle Mace and one of Maureen’s works at the Bimblebox Nature Refuge exhibition – open in Beechworth until the end of January.