Award-winning artist Suey McEnnally today locked herself to the main gates of Pentarch’s Heron’s Creek sawmill near Kew on the Mid-north Coast. It is the largest native forest sawmill in NSW.
Environmental scientist, born and raised in the Manning Valley, Ella Baker, attached herself to the back gate of the sawmill.
The two women are the latest in a growing list of concerned citizens, prepared to engage in civil disobedience to draw attention to the escalating crisis in the region’s forests.
Suey McEnnally is a NSW based artist renowned for her large, luminous, light filled landscape paintings.
McEnnally, who was arrested in 1993 trying to protect oldgrowth forest near her home on the Bulga Plateau said “I’ve lived in this area 40 years and want to do whatever I can to see the native forests protected. Forests that sustain wildlife, that clean the air and water.
Forests that create those gorgeous moist mists and rain clouds that hang in the trees and rise from the valleys some mornings.
“I’m Suey McEnnally artist. Winner of the National Paddington Art Prize for Australian landscape, finalist in the Sulman and Dobell prizes at the Australian Gallery of NSW. Winner of the Eco and Hunters Hill art prizes. People’s choice winner in the Redlands I Westpac and Paddington art prizes. Represented in the Blake and Country Energy art prizes and the Salon Des Refuses (or Lounge room of losers in Aussie translation) from
the Wynne Prize for landscape.
“Most of my work as an artist has been inspired and animated by the extraordinary beauty and wonder of this landscape and my desire to share it and if at all possible to raise awareness of it.
“Unless we are completely blind and deaf, we all know what’s happening to the earth: climate change, fire, drought and flood. My protest is to say please let’s keep the bits that remain, after all, there are so many alternatives. This morning my TV told me that last year was the biggest profit of gas and oil in 115 years for one of the huge multinationals. Really
People?? and I thought we were supposed to be getting on with saving the earth for future generations,” she said.
Ella Baker, who recently graduated as an environmental scientist said, “the environmental systems on which we rely as human beings are collapsing. Greta Thunberg was recently arrested for standing in front of the bulldozers working to expand a coal mine, while we are in a climate emergency. I’m here today blocking access to the log trucks because we are also in a biodiversity emergency and I feel a sense of desperation and urgency.
“We are 6 weeks out from the NSW election and neither major party has a policy to halt the decline of the unique and wondrous animals and plants that depend on healthy old forests.
“I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t take this opportunity to stand up for forests. They are worth more to the community left standing. I’m proud to do my part to get that message out,” Ella Baker said.