In our garden we don’t have Silver Birch trees; luckily though, our neighbours planted some against the fence where we get to enjoy them too. I love their silvery bark, their rustling green leaves which turn golden in autumn and then fall away, allowing the beautiful bare branches to shimmer gently.
In my painting “Silver Birch Owls”, there are four blue owls and one red owl. This is a recurring motif in several of my paintings. Without wanting to get too deep here, when I first used the motif, I was thinking about inclusion, making all feel welcome in a group. One of the things I really love about living in Melbourne, is the successful multiculturalism we have here. Sometimes we might not look the same, or share exactly the same beliefs or come from the same place. It doesn’t mean though that we can’t enjoy each others company. I just have to look at my students, young adults in a tertiary setting with mild intellectual disabilities to know that. They are a joy to behold, hanging out in the student cafeteria, borrowing books from the library and confidently walking around the campus. Occasionally other students might stare, but not for long. It’s a great learning opportunity for all on the campus to see what these young adults can achieve and how they enrich our world.