Half a Million Wild Acres

The Pilliga Scrub is an ancient and wild, semi-arid woodland covering more than 3,000 square kilometres in north-western NSW. Teeming with wildlife, this unusual remnant woodland is characterised by white and black cypress pine and ironbark forests. In the summer heat, the forest is dry with strongly contrasting light and shadows making it seem ominous and impenetrable. During wet times there are waterholes everywhere, and the forest floor is lush with greenery and covered in wildflowers.

On the sacred land of the Gamilaraay peoples, the Pilliga Forest is a unique and ancient place, a biodiversity hotspot like nowhere else in the world. It feeds clean water into the Great Artesian Basin—the crucial life support system for much of inland Australia. Maree’s family history includes a strong connection to the Pilliga.

As a child, Maree became fascinated by her great grandmother’s tales of her young life growing up with her aboriginal mother in a bark hut on the edge of the scrub, with stories of bushrangers, wild horses, bush tucker and deadly fires and floods. At the heart of an agrarian landscape long since cleared of vegetation lies half a million hectares of rare intact temperate eucalypt woodland.

25 April—1 July

Outback Arts Gallery

26 Castlereagh Street, Coonamble NSW 2829, Australia