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It is hard to imagine how desolate the sea.
Mars on the horizon, a fickle half-moon,
~ Michelle Cahill from 'Blaze'

Requiem is an artistic imagining by Janet Laurence lamenting the loss of plants, animals and native ecologies destroyed by the 2020 bushfires.

This project aims to explore the potential of art forms to retrieve, reveal and hold memories; to have a healing and regenerative quality; to inspire wonder, questioning and opportunities for reflection.

As part of Requiem, Red Room Poetry commissioned three poets with connection to the bushfires and interest in extinctions – Michelle CahillKirli Saunders and Lyndsay Urquhart – to create new poems of loss and lamentation that look to the future with deep care for Country. Look out for these poems in 2021, launching in time with the exhibition. 

Requiem will be hosted at the cathedral-like Paddington Reservoir Gardens as part of Sydney Festival 2021. Join us in a ritual-like space for a reading of the poems from 4-5.30pm on Wednesday 20th January.

Poems | Blaze | Aftermath | Blood Moon

Past events

Requiem | 16–24 January 2021
Paddington Reservoir Gardens
Free entry

Requiem Readings | 4-5.30pm, 20 January 2021
Paddington Reservoir Gardens
Presented by the Sydney Environment Institute and Red Room Poetry. Chaired by Luke Fischer, Australian poets Michelle Cahill, Brenda Saunders, David Brooks, Felicity Plunkett, Coco Huang, Lyndsay Urquhart and Viv Pham will offer their poetic witness of the black summer fires. The performance includes original compositions by renowned cellist Christina Christensen.
Free entry

Check out Sydney Festival online for a full run-down of Requiem events.

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