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Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt,

and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”

– Leonardo da Vinci


Focusing on their multifaceted experiences of living in the Northern Rivers, 'Sightlines' is a collaboration between a group of local poets, and the artists who make up the c.a.s.e (contemporary art space and education) committee.



Tali Cohen-Flantz, Mirna Barakat, Elaine Pollen, Leora Sibony, Annique Goldenberg, Sandra Rubbo, Rachel Dun, Carolyn Delzoppo, Shelly Anfield, Bianca Charleston, Pru Bleasdale



Sarah Temporal, Matt Hetherington, Peter Mitchell, Rosemary Nissen-Wade, Rowan Rose

This exhibition is taking place on Bundjalung Country of the Bundjalung Nation


I have approached this call and response exhibition as a form of poetic assemblage, an ode to memory and evolution. When reading the poems, I found myself drawn to the shorter passages, a line here and there, a haiku, or a senryu. These moments evoked in me images, colours, shapes, and stories which I could then use as a way to initiate a visual realisation.


Drawing on my archive of unfinished works,  unused papers, and found objects, gathered

over the last eleven years,  I felt a renewed delight upon discovering sketches, test pieces, and fragments of works that had never been given a chance to shine. 


A pattern emerged of a layered assemblage approach, forming in response to each poem’s impression. I am conscious of how our lives, worlds, and times are intimately interconnected, and so enjoyed discovering how the ideas I was drawn to in the poems, inspired new meanings and relationships in my material expressions.


Haikus # 2, #3, and #8 by Rosemary Nissen-Wade


the bougainvillea –

purple splash

Spring breeze –

a dead leaf dangles

from a web

darkness gathers

the old mountains

stand their ground

Solastalgia - three moments from within the poem - by Rowan Rose 

That summer’s inventions were 

new words for loss. 


We the uninvited have been gutting the joint

& now have the gall to wheedle on talkback 

about the blowback. Smoke in throat – 

you’re breaking up mate, you’re breaking 

up. A denial, coughed up, is 

still – go on, then, burn the replica 

of a circumnavigation that never happened. 

This alarm’s been screaming 

so long it’s become just white 

noise. Pedestrian light. Overhead flight. 


That thickness above, it’s not rain clouds. Dogs 

skittish and bitey in the hot wind. The sick 

laughter of picnickers. Smog choke sky.

Then there was the silence. 

The body wanting water 

for gum-stuck lips, nail-scream throat, 

rolling dust eyes. 

How much my flesh wanted 

rain, the relief that should have been 

cracking open this sky, tiger-striped. 

I look towards the sun. A dull 

orange pancake. Rage.

Don’t look away. 

We’re lying in cigarette butts 

and beer caps, calling it a park. Crying 

under our placards. Seeking solace 

in tiny boats from the shore’s flames. 

How sick

to think we are not what we walk on. 

How sick

to feel it only now and not forever.

I step into the water 

at dusk. Stretch my gaze to 

where the depths fade. 

I offer my salt to that which 

meets me. I offer my meat 

as more trash, as sandbag 

for rising water, as collateral. 

If it stalls all this 

just one second more: 

take it.

noon - senryu by Matt Hetherington -

noon green breeze through ferns

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