In the preface to his new solo show, the  mixed media artist ROA cites philosopher and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero (106BC-43BC)  with the quote, “Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.” No, BC does not reference Before Coronavirus, but adversity has fueled art since time began; so it’s no coincidence that ROA, an artist who has traversed the globe addressing conservation and, literally, the threat of environmental annihilation, just opened a resonant solo show at Backwoods in Melbourne in the midst of this global crisis.

As an antidote to fear and frenzy, as the Backwoods notes, "Annihilation is ROA challenging us to contemplate our current climate discourse and quietly focus on, observe, and investigate nature. An invitation to reconnect to nature, to empathise, and as the dominant species recognise that the choice is ours alone to ensure all of nature’s survival, not just our own."
In the animals featured in these works, we see our brethren, and indeed, ourselves within the artist’s narratives. Facing one of the most pivotal moments of the 21st century, where nature, technology and globalization converge, these paintings sound a vibrant plea.