Fire brings together a selection of prints, drawings and paintings that explore a phenomenon that carries particular associations in the experience of landscape in Australia: bushfire.
My interest in the subject of bushfire—an event that carries strong associations of both destruction and creation—emerged during encounters with the landscape around Victoria’s Yarra Valley soon after the devastating Black Saturday bushfires of 2009. A series of charcoal rubbings made in the burnt out Victorian landscape have, eight years later, informed a new series of paintings and works on paper that seek to creatively engage with the visual and aesthetic properties of bushfire. The rubbings provided the opportunity to examine the material traces left by fire as starting points for creative practice. Charcoal—that most rudimentary of artist’s materials and the one most closely associated with fire—provides the basis for drawings and prints which remember the forms left by bushfire. Charcoal is combined with the traditional linocut process, a process that reduces the world to a basic set of conditions: black and white, presence and absence, destruction and creation. As well as a series of intimate studies on paper, the exhibition includes a selection of larger paintings, which explore the emotional experience of burnt landscape.