The Online Diary of an Artist and her Fisherman
Allira promotes her Instagram page, “salted_sunrise”, as ‘the artist and the fisherman’ – a beautiful, weaving lifestyle journey of a young family living a coastal lifestyle.
An artist, Allira grew up in the idyllic beachside town Esperance, a local amidst the community, whilst her husband Christian, a commercial shark fisher, moved there 17 years ago.
“I do a little bit of everything – a lot of painting. Most of my work is fine art. There is a lot of inspiration in Esperance – it is magical place to say the least.”
“Lately I have been weaving pieces that wash up on the beach. Christian and I will go out and find stuff, load up the four-wheeler and go home and weave it.”
Allira laughed when asked how they met.
“We met at the Esperance pub – and it wasn’t exactly romantic. When I first set eyes on Christian, I thought he was a bit scruffy! It wasn’t your typical love story.”
“But he was persistent,” she chuckled.
“Once I got to know him – I found out he was an awesome guy!”
Allira said before meeting Christian she knew very little about the commercial fishing industry.
“I feel really guilty now, but I didn’t even pay attention about where my fish came from.”
“Learning about the industry has really opened my eyes to how hard these guys work to provide fresh, sustainable seafood for the community.”
The Instagram page originally started as a promotional tool for Allira’s artwork. She soon released though, that more people were interested in her family’s way of life.
“Not a lot of people know about WA’s commercial fishing or the local families behind the scenes.”
“I was receiving many private messages from followers wanting more information about our family lifestyle. It was at this point the page just started to evolve,” she said.
Her enchanted Instagram page is brimming full of photos of Christian, his fishing boat, Allira’s artworks – and their lifestyle. Attached to the photo is a poetic description of the scene – where Allira takes the reader along on her narrative.
The social media tool is also used as a diary, while Christian is away at sea – a place where Allira can keep him informed of her day-to-day activities with her two young children.
“When Christian returns home he loves to catch-up on our Instagram feed, including reading all the commentary and messages people send.”
As a fisher’s wife, Allira said that the most difficult thing about the occupation is that he has to work away.
“I stress about him on the water and the weather.”
“New closures due to Marine Parks and the Sea-lion gillnet exclusion zones have impacted where he can fish.”
“Before I could ring with no troubles, but now he is having to go further out to sea, which means it is harder to contact him.”
Although Christian, goes away ten to twelve days at a time – it works really well for the family.
“He can choose to have a bit more time off when things are good and can plan around events and birthdays, working around the family.”
“When he is at sea, it is difficult, but on the positive, when he is home he is a real presence.”
Allira said that if the girls are mischievous, she will forewarn them with, “I will ring dad!
“Christian is a really active parent to our two girls. When he is at sea he still wants to parent!”
“He will get on the phone and discuss things with them, he is really good like that.”
Salted_Sunrise has accumulated over 3,600 followers on Instagram who track the family’s every move – but although it is mostly positive feedback, Allira says she does get people questioning the integrity of the industry.
“I do get people coming up all the time saying that fishers are taking advantage of the ocean.”
“I remind them – without a commercial fishing industry in WA, we won’t have access to fresh, local sustainable seafood.”
She said that it has been great to witness consumers wanting to know where their seafood comes from.
“Just recently in Esperance there has been more restaurants and fish and chip shops stating they only sell Australian fish. It goes to show consumers want the ability to choose local seafood.”
Concluding, Allira said, that the page plays an important role.
“Salted_Sunrise”, is about showcasing the commercial fishing industry in another light through behind the scenes of our coastal lifestyle – the ups, down, changes and everything in between. We hope you enjoy!”
Follow Allira & Christian via “Salted_Sunrise”