Our rivers are the life of our communities. We cannot live without the fresh water they deliver. Each year when the torrential rain from a wet season starts, many of those affected by the Townsville 2019 floods find themselves entrenched in the memories of so much that has been lost.
After is an installation that offers hope, created from once highly valued wooden parquetry flooring which has been degraded by flood, ripped up and destined for the rubbish bin. Each individual wooden finger has been scraped of glue, sanded and cleaned, but will still bear witness to the traffic marks for their many years with a Townsville family home. They will be re-laid in the original checkerboard pattern with many of the fingers having laser cut street names that flooded in the 2019 Townsville floods. The fingers will be placed in the shape of Ross River and Ross Creek extending and undulating across the Townsville City Council Forecourt space.
The floods devastated so many family homes, rendered people homeless and created a significant rental shortage from which people are still suffering today. Alison says, ‘I put out a call for first-hand local knowledge and actual accounts from the 2019 Townsville floods to gather street names and suburbs. Then had them laser etched into the reused parquetry as a permanent reminder for viewers who hopefully identify with this artwork and find comfort in seeing how many others were also affected by the floods. As future disasters roll on, theirs is not forgotten. Is this river warning us about the reality of future impacts of climate change for our homes?’