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Ecology and Art House

Message in a Bottle / Garrafa de Naufrago

Tales from the Murrumbidgee River 
By Marily Cintra

rain on river

Rain in the Murrumbidgee River, Tharwa 31st December 2009

Fresh water conservation is a borderless issue that illustrate the world we live in.

Through "Message in a Bottle: Tales from the Murrumbidgee River" I wanted to celebrate the power of the river and document stories connected to our source of fresh water. I wanted to portray the river in its physical and cultural aspects, and the fragility of this natural resource.

Water is fundamental to life and an important part of our cultural life, of rituals from cradle to grave, of planting and surviving. Fresh water is about fertility, cleansing, healing. Yet, we have grown distant from water sources, to what happens with the water we use, and to how much water we have at our disposal.

The Murrumbidgee River serpentines through the dry land, often only a small trickle on its sandy bed, other times a raging torrent that sweeps clean everything in its path. The river diverts with painful generosity to dams, home showers, dishwashers and suburban gardens.

In here the Murrumbidgee River is suspended, as drops of rain, its flowing waters captured like frozen time. I feel like I am shipwrecked inside out, the messages in the bottles that I send is the water of the Murrumbidgee River. And with the water, the stories.

I would like to thank all the people from Tharwa who helped collect the water and so generously shared their stories.

Marily Cintra
Canberra Museum and Gallery exhibition opening 17 December 5.30pm
CMAG Gallery 4

© 2010 Marily Cintra