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Wulgurukaba & Bindal Country (Townsville)


Alison McDonald

'Is this river warning us about the reality of future impacts of climate change for our homes?'

Our rivers are the life of our communities. We cannot live without the fresh water they deliver. Each year when the torrential rain from a wet season starts, many of those affected from the Townsville 2019 floods find themselves entrenched in the memories of so much that has been lost.

After is an installation that offers hope, created from once highly valued wooden parquetry flooring which has been degraded by flood and ripped up destined for the rubbish bin. Each individual wooden finger has been scraped of glue, sanded and cleaned, but will still bear witness to the traffic marks for their many years with a Townsville family home. They will be re-laid in the original checkerboard pattern with many of the fingers having laser cut street names that flooded in 2019 Townsville floods. The finders will be placed in the shape of Ross River and Ross Creek extending and undulating across the Townsville City Council Forecourt space.

The floods devastated so many family homes, rendered people homeless and created a significant rental shortage to which people are still suffering today. Alison says, ‘I put out a call for first-hand local knowledge and actual accounts from the 2019 Townsville floods to gather street names and suburbs. Then laser etch them into the reused parquetry as a permanent reminder for viewers who hopefully identify with this artwork and find comfort in seeing how many others were also affected by the floods and as future disasters roll on, theirs is not forgotten. Is this river warning us about the reality of future impacts of climate change for our homes?'

About the Artist

Alison McDonald’s 20-year practice is based in Townsville. She creates artworks that explore and inspire social change by combining her passions of environment and recycling. The chosen media ranges from in size from epic sculpture to microscopic jewellery.

Her work is shown in national and international group and solo exhibitions, including Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, 6 Strand Ephemera’s (winner in 2015). Her artwork is in collections of Royal North Shore Hospital, Visy Education Centre, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Catholic Education, Central Qld University, Rockfield Technologies, Energy Super, Monterey Bay Aquarium, California and Stadiums Queensland.

McDonald completed her BVA (Hons) at JCU, then a Masters of Art in Public Space at RMIT.  She has also been artist in residence at Aberystwyth and twice to RedGate, Beijing. McDonald taught Sculpture at JCU and TAFE North Qld.  She recently had a national solo travelling exhibition Wanton, Wild & Unimagined through Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts.

Event Information

Free Event Wheel Chair Accessible Artist Talk
Location Details

Featured in the Townsville City Council Forecourt area on the corner of Walker Street and Stokes Street

Venue Accessibility

The venue's conditions include:

  • Nearby accessible parking.
  • Nearby accessible public transport (bus stations).
  • Accessible third-party scooter options throughout CBD city centre (for travel).
  • Nearby street drop-off points.
  • Wheelchair accessibility.
  • An accessible entrance (both ramp and stairs) and no obstructions to the path upon entering.
  • Signage indicating it is a PUNQ program.
  • Venue is close to accessible public bathroom facilities that offer wider doors, adequate floor space to move around in the bathroom, and fixtures designed for comfort including hand railings and low-effort tap handles (in Flinders Square).
  • Quiet spaces available for participants, this location will have ambient or no music playing.
  • There are nearby animal rest facilities (in Flinders Square).
  • Venue has been strategically designed for clear pathways throughout with a focus on minimising clutter.
  • The artwork is surrounded by designated seating areas for you to sit and enjoy.

This is a free and on-going event during the festival

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COVID Safe Visits

PUNQ asks that visitors adhere to social distancing, visitor logs, and other COVID Safe directives and procedures as directed.

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Acknowlegement of Country

PUNQ respectfully acknowledges the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun and the surrounding groups of our region; Bindal, Gugu Badhan, Nywaigi, Warrgamay, Bandjin and Gudjal as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, share and celebrate local creative practice. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia. They have never ceded sovereignty and remain strong in their enduring connection to land and Culture.

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North Queensland, Australia | 2024 details coming soon


North Queensland, Australia
2024 details coming soon