Empathy for farmers at Corrimal art show

Gerri Wood, flanked by Jean Thompson and Carolyn Aleksoski, has organised a drought appeal art show. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Gerri Wood, flanked by Jean Thompson and Carolyn Aleksoski, has organised a drought appeal art show. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

This week has seen the Illawarra doused with early winter rain, but in rural NSW the long drought stretches on.

Northern and western parts of the state are still having some of the lowest rainfall on record, the dry spell in some areas now extending several years.

The pain of no rain is a feeling Gerri Wood, former resident of Dungog, knows well and remembers bitterly.

"We had a huge drought in the 1960s. The cruellest thing is watching your animals die, not having food to give them, not being able to help," Ms Wood said.

"But one day a truckful of hay from Victorian farmers came. It was a gift from heaven, showing somebody cared."

The memory spurred Ms Wood to organise this weekend's art show at Corrimal Leagues Club, raising funds for the NSW Farmers Association's "We're For The Bush" drought appeal.

"It's about communicating with people in the bush that somebody cares. Life is hard in the bush, even without the drought.

"We have had good rain this week, but many areas are still in drought," Ms Wood said.

More than 100 works have been created by local artists and students from Corrimal Creative Arts, or donated from the personal collections of supporters. The works, on exhibit in the club's western room, will be sold on Saturday and Sunday to raise funds for the drought appeal.

"Money will be used to provide food and farming supplies vouchers to farmers," Ms Wood said.

Prices start from as little as $7.

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