Underneath the serenity is a much more disturbing message about climate change and the impact of continual interventions along the Murray Darling river systems. Her panoramic work ‘Oh my Murray Darling’ currently exhibited at Adelaide Town Hall depicts the dead trees of the original shoreline of the river. Flooded by the construction of weirs and locks in the late 1800s, much of the native flora and fauna was decimated along with evidence of Aboriginal habitation as Cumpston says, “These are the trees my ancestors would have sat under.”
With a busy schedule of exhibitions in Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide, Cumpston is often on the road. Yet the place she most wishes to be is at her studio close to her home. She says, “I am compelled to do my art practice and I love making the work. I just want to be in my beautiful studio, where I have those moments to concentrate on the stories I want to tell.”
Nici Cumpston’s work was displayed as part of Our Future in the Landscape together with Louise Flaherty, Jake Holmes, James Tylor, Lara Tilbrook and the SA Artists for Climate Action collective. In light of Adelaide Town Hall’s temporary closure, the exhibition can be viewed online.
Presented by Guildhouse and City of Adelaide
Curated by ART WORKS Emerging Curator Steph Cibich