Art from a trip to the big dry in Broken Hill

Tracy Ponich - Nightfall over desert
Tracy Ponich - Nightfall over desert
Tracy Ponich - Just before the fish die Menindee Lakes

Tracy Ponich - Just before the fish die Menindee Lakes

Photographer Tracy Ponich and artist Scott Pollock wanted to do something creative together, something with guts and heart. They made a list of far flung places, peoples, themes, but in the end, over a cuppa and a map, chose a destination closer to home. The result is Broken Stories, a road trip to the Big Dry, Broken Hill.

Braemar Gallery is exhibiting the art that came out of that trip, works that illustrate the vast, flat land where saltbush and not much else survives. These are places where life and death linger on a knife edge. The latter was everywhere, and it was difficult to experience the enormity of it. Yet as well as dry river beds and plains of dust, the two also found inspiring beauty.

No Boundaries by Scott Pollock

No Boundaries by Scott Pollock

Through photographs, paintings and multi-media pieces Ponich and Pollock share their experience, a pictorial storytelling. Their works range from the environmental devastation of Menindee Lakes to the magnificent expanse of Mundi Mundi Plains near Silverton. They agree that it had to be a road trip to tell this story. You just couldn't fly in, rent a car. The road is part of it, and it gets under your skin - that and a deep admiration for the locals who were so generous to them. Long-time residents spoke stoically about the hardships, year in and year out. But inevitably concluded, 'I wouldn't live anywhere else'.

The artists will hold a raffle of two works on opening day. All proceeds will go to the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (NSW) for drought and bushfire affected communities. This is an initiative especially important to both them.

At Braemar Gallery, 104 Macquarie Rd, Springwood. Opening by Susan Templeman on Saturday, February 22 from 2-4pm. Exhibition runs from February 20-March 15.