Kean Onn See

Vale Joey, 2021

78 × 103 cm
This is a eulogy to Joey, a baby kangaroo found dead, face down, in what was left of the septic tank of our house in Lake Conjola after the 2019 NYE Currowan Fire.

It was most likely Joey escaped the fire but sadly met her death by drinking or falling into the poisonous water.

It was 38 degrees by 8.30am on the morning of NYE 2019. My partner and I evacuated from our house amid blood-red sky and searing heat just hours before the fire razed the house to the ground. It was difficult to go back to inspect the damage a few days after the fire. Finding Joey dead in our backyard was the saddest of all moments.

We sobbed.

When the painting was composed I knew many viewers, at first glance, would not know what they were looking at. This is precisely the point. The hole in the ground is in fact a grave. It was exactly how I felt when I found Joey. I did not see her at first sight, it was the stench that led me to her.

“Vale Joey” took six months to complete. It was an emotional and rewarding journey, from its beginning to its end.
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