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1000 Finches – homage to the Black-throated Finch

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

The Black-throated Finch, is a critically endangered bird that can only be found in Qld. It is estimated that in recent decades its range has contracted by about 80 per cent due to land clearing. Approximately 1500 of these birds remain in the wild and the largest population lives in the Galilee Basin where the Adani coal mine is to be developed. This innocent little bird does not stand a chance if the mine goes ahead with their habitat decimated. Tragically, this is just one of hundreds of thousands of species facing extinction all over the world.


Deirdre Boeyen Carmichael, We Will Not Be Silent, 2019, oil on paper.

My dead finch lies on top of the classic environmental book The End of Nature by Bill McKibben. He argues that the survival of the planet is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature. Perhaps our Environment Minister, who is tasked with protecting and conserving our precious environment, would like to read it.


My painting of the Black-throated Finch is for the 1000 Finches Project, a collective effort of direct action, initiated by artist Charlotte Watson who proposed artists send artwork of the critically endangered finch to the politicians involved in the approval process. The 1000 Finches Project embodies our collective grief that yet another species faces extinction due to corporate greed. If you would like to participate in the project, subscribe to Charlotte Watson’s mailing list to get all the details.


The Adani mine is wrong on so many levels. The land on which the Carmichael mine is set to be developed is of deep spiritual significance to the Wangan and Jagalingou people, the Traditional Owners of the land in Queensland’s Galilee Basin and yet they struggle to have their voice heard. Many are very concerned about the negative impact of the mine and the process used by Adani to obtain an Indigenous Land Use Agreement. You can support the Wangan and Jagalingou people in their fight against the mine by donating here.


Adani plans to drain 12 billion litres of water a year from the Great Artesian Basin! Surely this is madness when drought has been ravaging the country. We need to protect the Great Artesian Basin to ensure that water flows freely for all. And what will be the impact on the nearby Doongmabulla Springs? It is an area of ecological and cultural significance, yet Adani has not identified the source of the springs let alone guaranteed its ecological health.


The negative impact of the emissions created by the coal from the mine should be enough to stop this mine from proceeding. The approval of the mine is an act of climate sabotage and unbelievable in this age of the Paris climate agreement when we must divest from fossil fuels.


We need to stop all coal mines.


We need to cut carbon emissions for the survival of the planet.


We need to save the natural world from those profiting from its destruction.


And I hope that thousands of our Black-throated Finch artworks, winging their way to Canberra, will make a quiet yet powerful statement to those in power.


We will not be silent.


You can read an excellent in-depth article by James Bradley about the battle over the Adani Carmichael mine in The Monthly.


UPDATE: My painting was featured on the ABC News website and various other media sites. The update is here.


#grief #1000finches #blackfinchproject #stopadani #extinctionrebellion #ecology #Australianbirds #environmentalactivism #theendofnature #blackthroatedfinch

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© 2019 Deirdre Boeyen Carmichael