The deeply personal photographs of Sydney-based artist Cameron Bloom tell a true tale of hope and healing via an unlikely protagonist, Penguin the magpie. The story begins with a shocking accident in which Bloom’s wife, Sam, suffers a near fatal fall that leaves her paralysed and deeply depressed. Into their lives comes Penguin, an injured magpie chick abandoned after she fell from her nest. Penguin's rescue and the joy and strength she gives Sam and all those who helped her survive reveals how compassion, friendship and support can come from unexpected quarters. A heartening celebration of life, the story reminds us that no matter how lost, fragile or damaged we feel, accepting the love of others and loving them in return can make us whole.
Bloom’s portraits of Penguin and his family offer poignant snapshots into their painful yet propitious voyage of recovery. Allegorical celebrations of the power of the oft–suppressed bond between humanity and the animal kingdom, the works consider the psychological – and even spiritual – healing embedded in the natural world. Intimate moments of surrender traverse the chasms of nature and culture, tragedy and triumph, innocence and maturity. Ultimately, the exhibition is a poetic incarnation of the karmic principle of cause and effect, for while the Bloom family thought they were saving Penguin, the magpie saved them in return.