The exhibition is a reaction to what is the most pressing environmental crisis of our time: the on-going devastation of the Murray-Darling Basin particularly the imminent demise of the once great Darling/Barka River. The environmental, human, cultural and economic loss in the region has been incalculable. 

Darling/Barka river, Mt Murchison August 2019
Photograph: Gavin Wilson

Historically, the Murray-Darling Basin has long been subjected to the natural extremes of flood and drought. However, in this age of climate change and the on-going gross mismanagement of precious water resources, driven by an entrenched culture of greed, the Basin’s river systems and wetlands have been decimated and people’s well-being destroyed. The reason apocalyptic fish kill in the Darling/Barka River triggered a national outcry – yet nothing has changed. Now is the time to address this environmental emergency and demand REAL lasting action at the highest levels. The water held captive by commercial interests and government agencies MUST be released to rejuvenate the rivers, and bring back life into the Basin.

With the Darling/Barka River teetering on the brink, it’s time to re-think the industrial agricultural enterprise responsible for much of the on-going environmental degradation of Western New South Wales. Nothing short of a Royal Commission will get to the bottom of this national disaster. Led by the Barkindji artists, the powerful revelations on display in River on the Brink reinforce the need to act now and saved the once great Darling/Barka River.

Darling/Barka River at Kalyanka. August 2019 Photograph: Gavin Wilson

Gavin Wilson
Exhibition Curator

The exhibition was opened by Mr Geoff Cousins AM


Rivers of despair at loss of Darling 
John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald – 4th October

Art follows course of rivers’ neglect
Christopher Allen, The Australian (behind paywall)

Farewell to the rivers of life and a dying planet 
Elizabeth Farrelly, The Sydney Morning Herald – 28th September

Murray-Darling art exhibition hopes to raise awareness of ‘national disgrace’ 
Philippa McDonald and Sarah Thomas ABC News – 19th September

Drowning in heartbreak
Elizabeth Fortescue, The Daily Telegraph 19 September

Gavin Wilson talks about the exhibition River on the Brink 
Elizabeth Fortescue, The Daily Telegraph

River on the Brink: inside the Murray-Darling Basin 
Barnaby Smith, Art Guide Australia