In 2016, my good friend and teaching colleague Jackie Benney asked me to become involved in an art project she had up her sleeve - she had been granted a hanging space in Waverley Library Galleries in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. I was flattered. Jackie's work is visceral and poignant; previous works and shows of hers have been critically acclaimed.
What has emerged over many months of talking and thinking and writing and painting is Crossing Depths To Where Sky Is Just Sky, an examination of the Syrian refugee crisis, with a particular focus on crossing the Aegean by boat. Greek mythology has also played a part in things.
Jackie has assembled some striking pieces and I have responded to these with poems various. Jackie has also responded to my lyricism. The writing has been hard to get right. Avoiding sentimentality, operating from a position of respect for displaced peoples and finding a universal truth has been a great challenge. I am proud of the work that I have penned thus far - I can't wait to share these fresh poems with you.
Crossing Depths To Where Sky Is Just Sky will be showing at Waverley Library Galleries (48 Denison St Bondi Junction) from July 11 until August 8. Please join Jackie and I for opening night drinks on Wednesday July 12 at 6pm.
LJ, May 16 2017