David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

22 April 2014


This an image of Break (1984), in the collection of Parliament House, Canberra, one of many painted depictions by Mandy Martin from around that time, of massive industrial forms (Yallourn Power Station; Port Kembla, Outer Harbour; E.Z. Works) amid the natural environment.

When Martin's Red Ochre Cove (1988) was chosen as the image of influence for the Main Committee Room of the Australian Parliament, Canberra, it seemed to this regarder a curious choice.

Now, as the Abbott government prepares to remove the so-called carbon tax, and today as the massive coal miner Clive Palmer declares his PUP will vote in the Senate against the Abbott Government's 'Direct Action' plan (the so-called carbon reduction alternative), that image in that place appears timely right.

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