A near dead tree stands in the foreground with its dead branches stretched across the canvas, against rolling blue and purple hills of farming land, and a turbulent sky. The burnt yellow and orange of the foreground wheat field is in contrast to the cool hills in the background, and trees are scattered among the paddocks and along the fence lines. Notably and akin to the title, signs of life remain at the trunk of the tree where scrabbly foliage can be seen.
This is the open farming landscape of the wheatbelt of Western Australia, after many long years of drought. The harsh conditions have taken their toll, and the tree struggles to hold on. The title of this painting backbone refers to both the stark profile of the dead branches against the landscape, and the fortitude required for survival through a 7 year drought. The long struggle shows, as does the backbone required to survive.