The magic of Pope - Namadgi and Eden feature in final exclusive prints

The Namadgi and Eden prints by David Pope
The Namadgi and Eden prints by David Pope

A surreal image of a bushfire-blackened Namadgi National Park shrouded in snow, and a fleet of fishing boats looking optimistically out to sea from the port of Eden as a whale exhales in the background, are the two final prints in David Pope's South Coast Calling series.

The Canberra Times' cartoonist has stretched his vision from the mountains to the sea in the series which continues to raise money to help South Coast communities devastated by last summer's bushfires.

David Pope.

David Pope.

While COVID-19 seemingly swept everything else to one side, the impact of the South Coast bushfires continued to cut deep.

David Pope's image of Eden.

David Pope's image of Eden.

The Eden and Namadgi prints now join others in the collection which depict communities much-loved by Canberrans including Broulee, Mogo, Narooma, Nelligen, Batemans Bay and Cobargo.

Pope was buoyed to know his work had raised $60,000 for projects to help South Coast communities to keep moving forward from the fires.

"We've had over 11,000 sales," he said.

David Pope's Namadgi poster.

David Pope's Namadgi poster.

The money raised from the prints was going to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal Fund.

Pope said the Namadgi and Eden images were the final two in the second series of South Coast Calling and he was unable to ignore Namadgi, last summer's Orroral Valley bushfire destroying 80 per cent of the national park.

In his print, the layer of snow over the burnt-out landscape makes it feel like a salve for the much-loved Canberra icon.

"The response has been really positive," he said.

"It was good to finish with the Namadgi one as it was so badly affected... A forestry person pointed out to me the snow has quite an important role to play in the regeneration process after bushfire. so that was interesting. I hadn't known that before I drew it."

David Pope's beautiful South Coast is Calling images.

David Pope's beautiful South Coast is Calling images.

Now it was difficult to believe the land had suffered so much as the hills gleamed green after heavy winter and spring rain.

"It's amazing, isn't it? The whole region looks different," he said.

"But the reason I'm plodding on with these is that, the recovery process has still got a long way to go and it's been pushed back by COVID. But there are communities still doing what has to be done to try to get back from last summer. It's a long, long process."

Pope said people were still tweeting or sending him images of their own print proudly hung in its own special spot.

"I think that's something I hadn't quite realised at the start, because of people's connections to places, if you draw these pictures, there would be a morale-boosting aspect to it," he said. "So, that's been a surprise."

All prints are available at redbubble.com/people/coastiscalling Each is available as poster, a framed or unframed art print, a greeting card or a notepad.

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal Fund is currently inviting applications from bushfire affected communities in rural and regional areas.

Applications for the next round close November 24, with funds awarded in March.

This story The magic of Pope: Namadgi and Eden feature in final exclusive prints first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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