When the police came to the door and said, Leave Now, I was as prepared as I thought I could be. I had noticed the smoke, billowing and filling the skies earlier that afternoon and avidly following the news updates it became apparent that evacuation was a possibility. So what to take? when all I really cared about was my paintings and in the end all I could fit in the back of my small car were four large artworks. Left behind were probably over 30. Fortunately, after two days we were allowed back home and those extraordinary firemen/women who had tirelessly fought the flames, had ensured my home and studio were intact. But it was an emotional experience because my world is made up of so many 'paper' memories. Photographs, sketch books, canvases, diaries, art books and novels. All combustable in seconds.
I took comfort strangely, in knowing that in Melbourne, there were some paintings still hanging safe and sound. The exhibition at Mister Bianco is coming to a close. If you were interested in taking a look, before they are all shipped back up north, I invite you to check them out. I know it's a bit awkward going to a restaurant just to look at art, but the staff there are very friendly and it's really okay. Checking in with Philippa at Art to Art, is a great alternative too. Click here for more information or send me an email.
Being here and experiencing a community bringing it's resources, compassion, energy and grit while facing the fires, made a huge impact on me. I translate my experiences, and my paintings are spontaneous and responsive, such as the one in response to this. I see there are so many impacts, choices, hurdles and issues that in the end, people seem to be stuck. And for that there are consequences too. We can react to the crisis, fight the seen threat, the 'fires' or the floods which is evident and commendable, but to do something as profound and dramatic to mitigate a potential disaster is really difficult.
But, 'The Consequences of Doing Nothing' because we don't know who we should trust, leaves us suspended. And in the meantime, the situation deteriorates.