It's gotten so hard to live on the land, that Ian Tully is considering moving his farming operation to mars.
At least, it's a hypothetical the former farmer turn artist is presenting with his latest exhibition at the Wagga Art Gallery.
The Mars Project installation combines mix media, including photographic prints, sculpture, and video components. Together it is the culmination of years work for the 58-year-old man from south west NSW.
"I'm interested in the idea of people living in the regions," Mr Tully said.
"For a number of reasons, life in a rural setting has been made difficult. You've got the politics, the agribusiness, the lacking delivery of services, the mobile phone black spots. We seem to be missing out.
"My work [aims] to point out this with a degree of humour."
Mr Tully spent his early years on the land, but left the farming life at age 16, to pursue other avenues.
After a long venture into carpentry near Melbourne, he attended art school. Armed with his dry wit and his creative passion, he returned to his family's farm.
"That familial history with the land informs my work," he said.
"What we face as farmers is [the duality of] caring for the land while working the land. It's a challenge [...]"
From this dichotomy the Mars Project was born.
The work is based on a fictional character, but composes the experiences shared across many acquainted with life on the land in the Riverina and surrounds.
"He's struggling with the weather, with climate change, low commodity prices, communication [services]," Mr Tully said.
"He's having a hard time and he thinks 'maybe mars is my next step'."
With the seed now planted in his mind, he begins to convince himself with great determination that the experience of farming on mars would be simpler than on earth.
"No-one else has farmed on mars [so] he's engineering the things he thinks he needs to farm on mars," he said.
It's an absurd answer to the reasonable question: how can farming be made easier in this time of uncertainty?
Describing the works as "wacky and rye", Mr Tully admits The Mars Project is intended to highlight the sheer difficulty in the lives of so many.
The Mars Project will be exhibited in Wagga Art Gallery on Morrow Street from May 18 to August 18.