Fire is an environmental inevitability in the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the Australian bush. But now it seems to represent so much more – a planet reacting to centuries of abuse and exploitation, and a seemingly intractable political schism revolving around the mining and use of coal.
‘Black heart’ refers to darkness inherent in our ideas of Australian land and belonging, darkness at the heart of our political system, and the compellingly beautiful blackness of charcoal in vistas of our devastated landscapes.
The mandala images invite an immersive and meditative experience of place, and show beauty in devastation while reminding us of human complicity in damage and destruction of the landscape.
‘The Blazing World’ series comprises three triptychs (of which this is one), with photographs of fire damaged bush overlaid with images of campfire, and of vintage book pages.
This work completed in early 2020 draws on the catastrophic bushfire season in Australia as a metaphor for the increasingly dystopian modern global world. Sadly, the dystopia now seems exponentially worse, with the greatest global pandemic of a century spreading like wildfire, in the face of political posturing and a parallel epidemic of fake news.