From Old Testament Psalm No. 139, The Inescapable God, V. 9-10: “If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me fast.”
Aboriginal people believe our native pelican can live 90 years and that the collective wisdom of the group ensures Australia-wide knowledge of food locations in times of drought in this harsh and dry land. Australian poet Judith Wright described in her poem Pelicans, this bird has a face “kind as an ambulance-driver”. The pelican was selected not only for its breathtaking, slow wing-beat flight, but also as an image connected with the bible stories of Christ’s fasting and sacrifice.
All considered this bird is an elegant accompaniment to the wise words of Psalm 139. The intermingling of ideas invites an ecclesiastical dimension to the audience of nature and art lovers.
Sue Kalab has been involved with watercolours and the natural world of Australia since 1981, when she went to live and work for 12 years as an artist in Mallacoota in Croajingolong National Park, Victoria. After two years living and working on an Aboriginal community on the edge of the desert in the Pilbara and learning of a different time and reality, Sue established her studio near the ocean in Bunbury. Her work is described as contemplative, cultivated rusticity. A popular artist, her paintings are collected in Australia and globally.