BLACK MARKER PEN AND WATER PENCILS ON PAPER. This drawing was semi-submerged in Bundaberg’s 2013 flood (Jan 26th) at my home near the Burnett River. Unfortunately, it was one of many of my old art pieces standing upright¬†on the floor in storage. Amongst a pile of river mud and chaos through my abode, I took a photo of the rippled drawing after hosing it down. I then discarded the original. There was too much stress and mess to be sentimental, and try to restore it. Some things just had to go, even though it is a bit like parting with one of your arms. But at least I had enough composure at the time to take a photo. Simple as the piece is, I am glad I did. I threw many of my flood-damaged works out that day – there was no place to clean, or store anything large. This one was about A4 size.

The subject was a violin – over 100 years old – that was given to me by my then 80-year-old neighbour (1980). She had seen my photo and an article about me in a rock band at the time, in the local paper. From this, she assumed I would be interested in having the violin (as a musician), which was originally her father’s. He used to play it on his knee at various “hoe-down” type gigs around the Burnett area, when he was young.

I gladly¬†accepted the violon, in its red cedar case, and have cherished it ever since. When I received it, it was lying in the case, with each panel separated, like an exploded diagram of a violin. Storage under the open high block Old Queenslander house had taken its toll. All the glue had rotted away. So I searched around for someone to put all the panels back together. At nearby Burnett Heads, there was an old guy who built, and fixed musical instrument. He looked at my violin, all in separate panels, and shook his head. This was still in 1980. “Gee, this is going to be difficult – will cost you a fair bit.” I was willing to get it fixed no matter what, so I said, “Well, can you give me an estimate at least?” He frowned, and looked worried and answered, “Oh, I think about $17.” He did a great job on it too.


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