FIRE


exhibited March, 2015

Outdoor Gallery, Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra




Some of the work from this project was exhibited in a solo show, entitled 'Inside Out', in the outdoor gallery of the Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra. This was my first outdoor exhibition. Instead of making mixed-media work on paper (my usual way of working), I went out of my comfort zone and made an installation using rust print on fabric, paint, fencing wire and found organic materials, including bark and eucalyptus leaves.


Here is the statement that I included in the exhibition catalogue:

"This outdoor installation, Inside Out, is a part of my current art project inspired by bushfires. Growing up in the Blue Mountains, I was aware of the threat of fire each summer. Our family home was perched on a ridge top surrounded by bushland. A beautiful setting that was also vulnerable.

At first the project began as a more generalised look at bushfires, and I had planned to exhibit burnt out furniture. But with time I felt this was too literal a response, and my work became more abstract. I also became more specific, changing from a general look at bushfires to focusing on one blaze: the 2013 bushfire in the Blue Mountains.

This was a severe burn as around 200 homes were lost and a large area of national park was devastated. However, my reasons for focusing on this year were simpler. When I visit my family in the Mountains, one of the fire trails where I take the dog walking is in the affected area of bushland. Prior to the fire, I knew this place well. Afterwards, I watched this area of bushland change dramatically into a silent, charcoal and ash landscape, and then I observed the slow recovery from the first shoots of green to spectacular flowering grasstrees.

In this installation I have tried to capture the fragility and disintegration of the forest floor after a bushfire."

Installation view