Studio Work for Exhibition Our Lady: En Feu at The Mill Adelaide 2020
I was in my studio in 42degree heat drawing Bushfire NSW as the bushfires raged across most of Australia. Having lived through the Ash Wednesday Bushfires that devastated the Adelaide Hills in 1984, I felt very deeply watching enormous, intense flames engulf whole areas, out of control and destroying everything in its path. Tears well as I write now. I recall feeling that this time, these fires, must be documented, the experience honoured in some way and the only way I knew how to was to draw it.
The work became a part of an exhibition called Our Lady: en feu (Notre Dame: on fire) with drawings of the Notre Dame fires, and others of the Bushfire, Australian Native Flowers series, and Chernobyl and Gaza as examples of a human population hellbent on destruction. The scale of these disasters are totally diminished by the enormity of what is happening to the world currently. The burning of an 800 year old church is almost trivial in the face of a manmade pandemic that has irrevocably altered everything.
Bushfire, NSW is an invaluable memento of life as we know it that’s gone forever. It questions what humans actually respect and value, and the state of the anthropogenic world we live in.
All works photographed by Alex Makeyev. Frames by Tom Borgas.