13 November - 1 December 2013
Opening Wednesday 13 November, 6.30-8pm
The Black Saturday Bush Fire that I experienced at my Buxton farm was a life changing event. Not only was the night terrifying but the spectacle was truly amazing. And then, the next day, apart from a small area around the house and a hillside nearby, everything was changed: the smoke drifting through the landscape for the next month continued to make changes from one day to the next - sometimes one moment to another. Stories explores how I continue to put together the experience and piecing together the stories of others’ experience.
At Easter, I exhibited my Black Saturday Series in the refurbished Buxton Hall and where locals came and enthusiastically shared their stories. They appreciated this opportunity to see the paintings of their area and shared experience.
At first everything was so changed and the losses so very disturbing there was an outpouring of creativity by myself as well as the community. I had so many ideas but there just wasn't time to realise them. Now the recovery is continuing at a less frenzied pace with the changed landscape a more permanent fixture. I have been able to go back and realise earlier ideas and to finish some of the unfinished paintings.
Over time, things have changed and the excitement of the recovery and profusion of new leaves and wildflowers has settled into a shabby environment. The blackened trees articulate the forested areas on ‘our’ hill and the canopy has been restored in some areas -but too often, it remains a ceiling of dead branches reaching towards the sky. The contrast of the energy of recovery and dead trees has captivated me and using the charcoaled bark from the tree trunks has been the starting point for some of my works. And which somehow creates the landscape it has come from.
Bithry Inlet is on the south coast of NSW. Staying with friends at their idyllically located beach property, I have been inspired by the changing beauty of this almost pristine inlet and the constant changes as the rhythm of the tides sculpt and draw on the sands, the early morning mists rise from the pristine waters and the water itself slowly ebbs and flows through the inlet to the mangroves.