I was honoured to create this artwork for Friends of the Earth Melbourne, a watercolour interpretation of the collaborative journey to achieve climate justice in Australia.
The climate movement is about so much more than just cutting carbon - we need to find people-focused and sustainable solutions to this humanitarian crisis. This includes decolonising and giving land ownership back to Indigenous communities who have cared for country for tens of thousands of years. Australia is a nation founded on stolen Aboriginal land, and sovereignty has never been ceded. Achieving justice for Indigenous communities is imperative in our fight for climate action. We need to protect sacred land and start working to repair the damage of colonisation.
Spilling out from the top of the sunflower, you can see Aboriginal communities campaigning against uranium mines and nuclear waste dumps on country. You can also see farmers and locals fighting for water rights in the Murray-Darling basin (a large and important river system) and for a safe ecosystem for communities, not corporations.
Down the bottom of the sunflower, there are coal workers in the Latrobe Valley (a town with many mines and coal-fired power stations) calling for a just transition away from fossil fuels and into the renewable sector. On the right hand side there is a glimpse into what this future could look like: green, safe and sustainable.
Friends of the Earth Melbourne are part of the global FoE network, and their campaigns are centred around phasing out fossil fuels, protecting forests, building sustainable cities, energy justice, and campaigning against the nuclear industry. They have also operated a food co-operative and cafe in Melbourne for over 30 years. - Emily Cork