Narelle Scotford

How did I come to write Digging Up The Dead?

I am standing in water 2.4 kilometres underground. My mining companion instructs me to turn off my light as he does the same. So intense is the blackness which envelops me that I cry out in horror as I imagine what it must be like to labour in such places beneath the earth.

Yet it is in this dire place where I first hear another voice calling me and it comes from a hooded figure emerging from the gloom as I remember the Greek myths of the Underworld. I have been in other mines before and since which have also informed this story but it is this experience which started it all.

My work as an Organisational Psychologist, and as a Psychotherapist interested in Trauma and Resilience, as well as my immersion in Greek culture and language have informed my stories and this book in particular. However, the unique collaboration with Selina, the Artist, has developed this story and its characters in surprising and challenging ways.

Selina McGrath

Falling down a mine, and landing in the dark cradle of the Greek Underworld, was a new experience for me. Typically a muralist who works solo, I've embraced a collaborative experience with joy. Narelle Scotford has written a work, quite unlike any I've ever read before. Sometimes painting is a lonely pursuit, as is writing. So to meet, sit face to face, and reimagine things together is a quietly rewarding undertaking.

A graduate of Sydney College of the Arts, and with a passion for music, literature and film, I feel this is quite a logical partnership, as this unique story is a visual, poetic, and theatrical feast. When I work on canvas, I work in oils. My murals are, of course in conventional house points. But for these works, I've used watercolours and ink. Some are powdered French pigments. I feel Narelle has inspired me, and shifted me into a new way of working. I'm thankful... Because as most painters know, inspiration is everything......