Black man White man 2019. Photo: Marilyn Torrens

Black man White man

"In 2017 I meet Aboriginal artist Marilyn Torrens from Jubal Bunjalung country. We are in Sydney studying Aboriginal Cultural Arts at Eora Aboriginal College, now TAFE. Marilyn allows me to photograph and animate a painting she had made of a rainbow serpent, to include in a Living Data installation presented with our teacher Chico Monks, at the conference, New Science for a Changing World.

Now, in May 2020, Marilyn emails me this photo, taken in September 2019 during the terrible bushfires around Tabulam and Drake in northern NSW. Marilyn asks:

'... Look closely at it. I can see a real old aboriginal and in the side of him I can see an old white man. Let me know if you can.'

I say, 'I can! I see ancestor spirits in the smoke. I see them both looking up into the sky'

The black and white faces make me think of Victor Steffensen who wrote, after sharing stories with with Indigenous people in Finland: '...Today the disconnected people come in all colours, from black, white, brindle and brown. There was a deepening understanding that I was starting to become aware of, and it seemed to be a connection that underpins us all.' (Fire Country: How Indigenous fire management could help save Australia. 2020. p.118)"

Lisa Roberts 2020


Ocean Dance
Polar connections
Ocean Ancestors
Antarctic krill
Black man White man
Nature's brain
Art as another way of knowing
Patterns we make
East coast Tasmania and Bruny Island
Messages from Trees
Past and present life and death
Ancestral spirits
The ancestors did not disappear
Ephemeral Pedestrian
Our interrelational living system
Nature in the dark


Mind Map