Peter Krause

Melbourne, Australia

Not an artist. just an outsider trying to get somewhere in the artworld. Got a long way to go yet. Appreciate all the help I can get so...

Terra Australis

I often wonder what this country was like before European discovery/invasion/settlement. Other than vicariously through historical writings and art. A wide, wild and beautiful land. Bountiful with rich diversity of plants and animals. Only peopled by small clan groups. Their distinctive cultures, nations, language groups, customs diverse and plentiful living off the land. When you consider how much we Europeans have modified the landscape compared to the degree the first inhabitants changed it. They had their fire culture, of course, which benefitted both man and the environment. We have cities, urban sprawl, mass resource exploitation, industry, increasing population, transport infrastructure, agriculture, pollution, introduction of weeds and incompatible animal species, which has resulted in significant habitat loss, more predatory animals, native floral and faunal extinction. And we call it Progress.
“I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains” as Dorothy Mackellar wrote all those years ago. A sentiment just as pertinent today as it was back in her time. I cherish this land. For the way it was before us Europeans got here and irrevocably changed it. And for those remaining natural areas that still exist albeit not pristine and, sadly, getting smaller. I feel for its original inhabitants. Both human and non-human. That probably sounds a bit strange, if so, so be it. Yes I maybe hypocritical since I am sitting at a computer typing this out after having eaten lunch, drank a cup of tea, inside a house situated in the suburbs. Progress if you will. All created as a result of the aforementioned industry and agriculture since European settlement of this country. I will accept the somewhat pejorative tag of “just a dreamer from the suburbs” but the environmental impact we Europeans have had on this once-beautiful land is irrefutable. “Paradise lost” to quote Milton.
I can’t change history but I think we should be saving, in perpetuity, those precious, wild areas we have left in this country before they are swallowed up forever by “Progress”.

Steve Roach’s wonderful track Red Twilight the Old Ones encapsulates wonderfully, for me, Australia’s “dreamtime return”.

Journal Comments

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