Annette Ruzicka – One Last Look, Before You Go

By February 10, 2021 No Comments

It started in the summer of 2019. Almost every morning I jolt awake at 5am. The knowledge that fires are burning all over the country floods back into my consciousness. Bushfires had been ravaging Australia since July and I have found myself in a heightened state of anxiety by the mass suffering of animals and loss of habitat. The destruction of the natural world at this unprecedented scale was too much to bear.

What makes us human today is a result of thousands of years of evolution done so in symbiosis with the natural world, not despite it. But somewhere along the line, we lost our way. We are still questioning the role of climate change in drought and fire despite all the evidence.

In this current health crisis people are bursting to go outside, to feel the sun, breathe the air. It is of course because we are connected to nature. We seek it not just for survival but also for a deeper connection; physically, emotionally and mentally.

What this current crisis tells us is that we are fragile and not immune to extinction, and to mess with Mother Nature is to create a future that is uncertain, volatile and fraught with risks to our very survival.

One last look, before you go is work centered on my own eco-anxiety brought on by the unstoppable impacts of climate change and subsequent mega-fires that hit Australia in 2019-2020. The work is a reminder that humans and the natural world are inextricably connected, and they’re both fragile. It is a product of 12 months of work visiting drought and fire ravaged locations around Australia while tying together the landscape and the body (self-portraiture).

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