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Karena Goldfinch© Black Wallaby Forest

My dream of living by the river at Warrandyte was born way back in my childhood when the Murray River was my ‘playground’.  Any wonder that the river and trees at Warrandyte, so reminiscent of my childhood, drew me out here. Now I listen to the dance and laugh of the Yarra River over the rocks at the bottom of my garden on a daily basis.  I wake up to the birds and go to sleep with the sound of the frogs.  I would probably chain myself to a tree if anyone looked, for one second, like they were going to damage my environment.

So when I heard of Karena Goldfinch’s mission to help save the habitat of the Leadbeater’s possum (you may know them by their common name, the ‘fairy possum’) in the Toolangi Forest, I was in.  As an accomplished photographer, she put together an exhibition of photographs at 69 Smith Street Gallery which evoke and describe the efforts being made by an organization called MyEnvironment, to stop the logging of the Toolangi Forest, thereby saving this endangered species from extinction. The images (immediately above and below) were part of that exhibition. 

MyEnvironment has taken on a battle royal in the courts against VicForests to halt logging. Karena’s exhibition was her way of supporting that organization. All of the proceeds from the sale of photographs were donated to MyEnvironment to help fund their legal costs.

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Karena Goldfinch© The Blue Rope

As so often happens in my explorations around Warrandyte, I discovered not only a worthy cause, but also an artist, working away quietly and earnestly in her studio. Karena shares an enormous studio with her partner (also a photographer) at their home in St Andrews.  She’s surrounded by the bush and loves nothing more than to record its beauty and its abundant wildlife in photographic images.  Storage drawers are full to capacity with them. 

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Old cameras and photographic equipment are dotted around the studio.

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While we chatted on the terrace, Karena spotted a kookaburra in a nearby tree.  Quick as a flash, she set to work with her camera.

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In the week preceding my visit to Karena, I received the info from the Baldessin Press about their workshops for 2012 only to discover that Karena will facilitate a gumoil photographic printmaking workshop there in June.  She is an aficionado of this technique in her own work.  Check out the workshop on this link.  

Karena’s images are timeless and rich in symbolism. 

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Karena Goldfinch©  Nest

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Karena Goldfinch© Front row

Last week, while my photos for this blog sat unprocessed in my camera and these words were drafting themselves in my head, the news came through that the court case had been lost.  How will I ever face my grandchildren? 

Obviously, there is still work to be done. If you would like to get involved please contact MyEnvironment via their website, or Karena through her website.