Canowindra Floods 2022 – “The Reed Bends But Does Not Break”

When the floods hit Canowindra in November 2022, it took everybody by surprise. Unlike Eugowra, 30 km down the road, our town was not all but destroyed. However, there were several homes flooded and many businesses along Gaskill St directly affected.

A friend of mine has a cabin in her back yard that backs onto the Belubula River flood plain. The water flooded up to the windows of the cabin both inside and out. The cabin was being used for storage. My friend lost photos, books and many precious items that recalled her life growing up in Germany.

Cabin Flood 2022

Cabin 2022 Canowindra Flood

I helped her with the clean-up. As we opened the door the first thing you see was how much mud and silt coated everything and the thick glue like sludge that used to be the carpet.

I quickly noticed an art canvas lying in the mud. It had streaks across it where the muddy flood water had ran across its surface. The canvas was ruined and was destined for the ever-growing council pick up pile on the nature strip – or was it? I brought it home with an idea forming.

My imagination realised this canvas had a story to tell – a story of survival. Over the streaks of mud from the flood water I painted some reeds. The water reed is known to bend in the wind and rain but not break. It is a reminder of the resilience of communities like ours when faced with traumatic events such as floods.

How strong are our country towns and our local people. Some have lost everything and yet say they will rebuild. Some come close to death yet say they would never leave. This painting reminds us that natures forces, disaster and trauma may bend us, but need not break us.

I’d like to say personally how inspiring many of the locals are who have come through this latest disaster with heads held high. As well as the many, many helpers who have done the awesome, dirty, smelly and often unseen job of post flood clean up.


Canowindra’s Gaskill St

Site of our monthly Palms Markets. Extremely fast moving water