After eight years living and working in the USA, I returned to Australia in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Returning to the natural beauty of south east Queensland was not only soul nourishing. My works so often draw on my love of beaches, forests, sunsets and other natural wonders – even in LA where I enjoyed stunning West Coast sunsets and frequent Pacific swims. The stunning rainforest and beach at Burleigh Heads wasn’t the only inspiration for this work. Working with my father, Jack Twist, a former English teacher, we explored how our unique natural environment and flora and fauna were expressed by our most celebrated poets, from Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson to Judith Wright, Michael Leunig, Les Murray and Oodgeroo Noonuccal.
Magpie, with a text by Michael Leunig, is Song 4 from An Australian Song Cycle