What if it rains?
'What if it rains?' Is a visual adaptation of how bleak farming without water can be. Combining wood, bones and light. I will be erecting 8-12 cow skulls mounted on wood with other bones attached for effect. I will be lighting up the skulls from the inside and at night, light will pour out the eye sockets. Different sizes and styles, all intertwined. Along the ground as snake-like cows to tall tree-like cows. I hope to invoke a feeling of vulnerability along with some discomfort and hopefully compassion for the animals. The sculpture is in separate pieces but is shown as a whole. Some pieces will be over two metres tall and some will be over two metres long. Varying in weight, between 20-50 kilos each. Making a total weight of around 350 kilos in separate parts. I will need a space of 4x3 metres square. Drought brings dusty brown ground and dead trees for miles around. Littered only with bones and graves of those lost. Also losing animals to snake bites, goannas, infection or anything else that can take life. I want to make people think more mindfully about what they buy, where it come from and why it costs what it does. Personally I don't mind paying more for milk that is local and hasn't been homogenised and when I can I buy organic products. I would also like to inspire people to think together about sustainable solutions for farming. A 6 year long drought across Australia has had farmers and livestock struggling together. Cows looking for water have been reported getting stuck in muddy creeks and being eaten alive by crows and goannas. Another story I read broke a farmer's will to carry on. The farmer was trying to move his stock to a different water hole that wasn't quite as dried up but on route three of his ewes just gave up. He had to watch them die before his eyes. With nothing to drink and no fresh food the animals cannot and do not survive. Suicide rates of farmers are extremely high as they can't do anything but witness the animals that they care for suffer and die due to drought. Climate change may be contributing to the length of the drought but the Australian government is sceptical. Even though the government has been donating lots of money for feed they can't control the weather and don't have a better solution than to just throw money at the problem. We buy and consume milk and meat without a second thought as to where its come from or how many people and animals have suffered to give us that 'prime steak' It's obviously time for something to change but what? Buying in grain and hay at a higher price just to keep livestock alive isn't really solving the problem. The farmers spiral deeper into debt and depression.
Sculpture Photography: John Walters