Maria Tumarkin muses on writing to the theme, Purgatorio: Australia Today...

What a thrilling commission it is to be pushed against Dante’s ‘Purgatorio’: to be asked to get lost in a work of such head-spinning power and scope, and to find a way to respond. I loved being asked to take serious risks – how often does this happen? I loved how I couldn’t recycle any of my old stuff, how my head had to think new thoughts, how many times I wanted to run away from it, and I so loved the unapologetic seriousness and bigness of it. Weeks and weeks of walking around thinking about good and evil, down one rabbit hole, out of the other, dead-ends, epiphanies, dead-ends masquerading as epiphanies; by the end of it I was dreaming of mountains and unerasable letters on my forehead.

We don’t know what is going to happen on Sunday – how it will all come together? Will it come together? We haven’t heard each other’s work. We don’t know whether our work will stack up at all. Will it sound mousy and meek? Will we be cringing? Sunday is another big risk. For everyone. What a privilege.

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