Michelle Ripari



pencil on paper
52 x 38 cm

Artist statement

In this work created with coloured pencils on paper, I wanted to reflect on my connection to my country through a self-portrait, and my love of our unique flora.

For many Australians of all generations, armed conflict has touched our lives personally. Whether it is through a member of our immediate family or friends, colleagues, or as individuals. We feel the ravages of war though our bodies, hearts and minds. Many have paid a high price for the freedom that all Australians can often take for granted.

Yet conflict is not for the faint-hearted and will affect the strongest person in some way. Similar to a self-portrait, a personal account of a situation or circumstance can bare the very soul. Some parts of individuals are affected and damaged beyond repair, as the edges of my face are burnt away, never to regrow the same way. As fragile as charred paper.

The tears I cry for these servicemen and women, and for my country, are not cool and refreshing, but dry and rough like the bark of the eucalyptus. But like my country, we are strong. We shall renew.

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