Taralga Road
Early spring, gold
wattle lining the lanes, dams
brimming, fields
emerald-green
and clotted with long-eared lambs, road
deeply pot-holed from the winter rains,
a cyclist
come a cropper
being loaded into an ambulance
seven kilometers north of Kenmore.
“Wombat”
she announces just after Tarlo, and stops, gets out.
I see her in the rearview mirror
turn the body over
before walking quickly back
for gloves and a cloth from the first-aid kit. “She's
dead,” she says, “but there's
a tiny paw
reaching from the pouch. I've
got to check.” Across the road, two
young black steers, ears
blue-tagged for slaughter,
amble to the fence to watch, then others
and still more, a dozen, twenty, eyes
wide in concern; if they weren't
animals you'd almost think they knew her. Her
baby dead also, she tells me when she returns; pale
and furless, barely
filling the palm of her hand.
Three kilometers later there's another. “Their pouches
are so wet,” she says, then speaks
in awe of the size of their teeth.
Figure 1

Janet Laurence, Birdsong (2006). Assembly of taxidermy bird specimens, suspended acrylic ring. Installation view, Object Gallery, Sydney. Photograph by Keith Saunders.

Figure 1

Janet Laurence, Birdsong (2006). Assembly of taxidermy bird specimens, suspended acrylic ring. Installation view, Object Gallery, Sydney. Photograph by Keith Saunders.

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By Oberon
there have been two more
and almost a dozen roos. Some
we stop at, others you can just tell
it's far too late; or there's
a truck on your tail, or the road's so narrow
there's no space to pull over,
let alone any place to run.
Figure 2

Janet Laurence, Memory of Nature (2010), detail. Taxidermied owl, acrylic, scientific glass, tulle, wood, oil paint. Art Gallery of New South Wales collection.

Figure 2

Janet Laurence, Memory of Nature (2010), detail. Taxidermied owl, acrylic, scientific glass, tulle, wood, oil paint. Art Gallery of New South Wales collection.

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Near the turnoff to Jenolan, dusk coming on,
we stop at a young swamp wallaby, head
crushed by a curb-side wheel, the road
a single lane, then, our
examination done, step
back to allow a four-wheel drive to pass, watch
as it grinds her—eyes, ears, brain—
even deeper into the gravel. Her joey
who'd been
still breathing
dies in our hands.
Figures 3 and 4

Janet Laurence, Fabled, from the After Eden series (2011). Altered camera trap images, ink on archival paper. From the Flora and Fauna International Residency, Acheh, Sumatra, Indonesia.

Figures 3 and 4

Janet Laurence, Fabled, from the After Eden series (2011). Altered camera trap images, ink on archival paper. From the Flora and Fauna International Residency, Acheh, Sumatra, Indonesia.

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Figure 5

Janet Laurence, Fugitive in Light (2002). Taxidermy specimens borrowed from the South Australia Museum. Installation view, Eden and the Apple of Sodom exhibition, University of South Australia Museum, Adelaide.

Figure 5

Janet Laurence, Fugitive in Light (2002). Taxidermy specimens borrowed from the South Australia Museum. Installation view, Eden and the Apple of Sodom exhibition, University of South Australia Museum, Adelaide.

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Figure 6

Janet Laurence, detail from After Eden exhibition (2011). Altered image from John Gollings original mine photograph.

Figure 6

Janet Laurence, detail from After Eden exhibition (2011). Altered image from John Gollings original mine photograph.

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Figure 7

Ravi Agarwal, Ambient Seas Diary, Else All Will Be Still series (2015). Photo collage.

Figure 7

Ravi Agarwal, Ambient Seas Diary, Else All Will Be Still series (2015). Photo collage.

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Figure 8

Ravi Agarwal, Landfill I, Trace City series (2017). Photographic inkjet print.

Figure 8

Ravi Agarwal, Landfill I, Trace City series (2017). Photographic inkjet print.

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Figure 9

Ravi Agarwal, Na'dar Landscapes Series—1, Na'dar/Prakriti series (2018). Lithograph.

Figure 9

Ravi Agarwal, Na'dar Landscapes Series—1, Na'dar/Prakriti series (2018). Lithograph.

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Figure 10

Ravi Agarwal, Na'dar Landscapes Series—7, Na'dar/Prakriti series (2018). Lithograph.

Figure 10

Ravi Agarwal, Na'dar Landscapes Series—7, Na'dar/Prakriti series (2018). Lithograph.

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Figure 11

Ravi Agarwal, Salt Pan, Else All Will Be Still series (2015). Photographic inkjet print.

Figure 11

Ravi Agarwal, Salt Pan, Else All Will Be Still series (2015). Photographic inkjet print.

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Figure 12

Ravi Agarwal, Power Nature I, Na'dar/Prakriti series (2018). Photographic inkjet print.

Figure 12

Ravi Agarwal, Power Nature I, Na'dar/Prakriti series (2018). Photographic inkjet print.

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