Work: “Hearts of Gold” by Susan Pietsch

Medium: Mixed media

Size: 48cm W x 53cm L x 30cm H

 

Artist statement

One of the most striking things of the floods of 2011, in Brisbane, Australia, was the response by thousands of people to volunteer their time and labour to help clean up. There was an amazing out pouring of love and concern for our neighbours that is so rarely seen on a large scale. It was like the river came up and washed away the mud from our eyes so we could see our neighbours unhindered by the baggage of social expectations and prejudice. The flood turned many people’s lives upside down but out of it came the true heart of the people of Brisbane.

This work celebrates that time. The book’s cover is turned upside down and out of it flows all the muddy pages with people’s stories from the past. The gold lining to those stories is the response of people to the disaster: seeking to help and restore, to care and be cared for.

The book, The Brisbane River: A pictorial history, was supplied by Lena Tisdall and altered by the artist, Susan Pietsch using acrylic paint. The pages were disassembled and cut to represent the outpouring of both heart ache and heart felt care for the affected.

“Hearts of Gold” was part of Project 22. Project 22 involved 22 artists being given the same book to alter. The exhibition featured in 2013 at the Textile Art Academy week and then toured other locations in Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Photographs by Geoff White Photography.