When farmer Ben Jackson couldn’t attend his aunt’s funeral due to COVID restrictions, he found another way to pay his respects.
For two years, the pandemic has kept us from connecting with our loved ones. How many birthdays have been skipped? How many weddings have been postponed? And, unfortunately, how many funerals have been missed?
Ben Jackson, a sheep farmer from Guyra, New South Wales, is one of many Australians that have missed important moments with family. Due to the pandemic, he was unable to fly up to Brisbane to see his aunt during her final moments. After a two-year fight against cancer, she passed away, and Jackson was unable to attend her funeral.
Instead, he turned to the pasture and found a new way to pay tribute.
He scattered grain about the paddock into the shape of a heart. When he released the sheep, they bounded into the field to eat the grain, creating a beautiful work of live art.
Jackson used a drone to film the results, and after a few attempts, was able to create the sheep heart that he envisioned. The drone footage was sent to his family in Brisbane, where it was played at his aunt’s funeral. There, they played the footage alongside Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. It was one of her favourite songs.
This isn’t the first time the sheep farmer has made art with his flock. Last year, he made the ABC logo using the same methods.
And while Jackson couldn’t see his family, his love for his aunt has certainly touched the hearts of Australians everywhere.