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Outstanding regional and rural leadership


West of the Great Divide

West of the Great Divide

Canvas art by Penny Alexander 

The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation is an organisation that relates to the colour and spirit of Australia’s vast and varied rural areas, and this is often reflected in the images and tones we use across our own publications.

As we welcome our new website, we also welcome a new image that we are proud to be showcasing – artist Penny Alexander’s striking piece, ‘West of the Great Divide’.

This bold, red-hued artwork is certainly one of the most vivid images we have come across, but we feel it is a spirited montage of aspects of life away from the metropolis that many will relate to.

As an artist concerned with the land and environment, and a lover of photography, Penny constructed ‘West of the Great Divide’ from elements of over 50 of her ‘happy snaps’.

In the image’s construction, Penny, who lives in central NSW, imagines the resilience of rural populations.

The colourful image represents the Great Dividing Range of Australia as not just a physical barrier but also a social and economic one; the decline of rural communities as populations and trade have moved to regional centres; and the enduring community spirit of those who remain.

So please, spend a while, as we have, taking in the detail of the story this art can tell about the diversity and tenacity of rural, regional and remote communities.

Spot the cricketers, the calves, the alpacas, and keep an eye out for the brightly coloured bird. We hope you enjoy this bright and undoubtedly unique celebration of life in rural Australia.


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