Bundanon

When No Birds Sing is a singular and poetic response to the recent bushfires that swept through the south coast of NSW. It marks both the epic scale of the destruction, as well as the tiny, everyday impacts upon the humans and animals that inhabited the landscape. Alongside the huge devastation, these direct and lyrical photographs mark the resilience and regeneration of individuals, communities, flora and fauna.

Ruth Maddison has, throughout her photographic practice, responded intuitively to the communities and environments she has lived in when a major event has occurred. Maddison and her family were at the heart of the bushfire disaster, and through these recent and deeply affecting works the viewer can see the immediacy of her photographs, as well as her self-taught technical prowess.

Maddison’s work explores themes of relationships, communities and families, offering glimpses into the daily lives and rituals of ordinary citizens within their home, workplace and neighbourhood. Her career spans more than 40 years of teaching, publishing and exhibiting. Since moving from Melbourne to Eden in 1996 her work has included intervened landscape, printed and sewn fabric, and video. Maddison’s work is held in many major state and national collections throughout Australia. A large-scale survey of her work was held at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne in 2021, with the assistance of the Australian Government through the Australia Council.

Ruth Maddison, Kiosk at Eden sport’s oval. 7.03 am, 31 December 2019, 2019

Ruth Maddison, Walking towards Aslings Beach, 7:14 am, 31 December 2019, 2019

Ruth Maddison, Imlay Street, Eden. 1.44 pm, 31 December 2019, 2019

Ruth Maddison, Bass Street, Eden 1.45pm, 31 December 2019, 2019

Ruth Maddison, Inside the ex-Fishermen’s Co-op at Snug Cove. Volunteers sorting donated goods. 3.06pm, 18 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Free food at CWA Hall, Eden for all fire fighters. 11.59 am, 18 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Imlay Street, Eden. A break for firefighters. 12.09 pm, 18 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Volunteers sorting donated goods, clothes, food. Eden’s ex-Fishermen’s Co-op at Snug Cove opened for storage. 11.48am, 18 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Driving to Annette Evelyn’s property, Upper Kiah Road. 11.46 am, 19 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Driving to Annette Evelyn’s property, Upper Kiah Road. 11.47, 19 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Annette Evelyn, Upper Kiah Road. 11.48, 19 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Identifying dangerous trees on Annette’s property for removal, Kiah. 11.50, 19 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, The remains of Annette Evelyn’s house, Kiah. 12.11 pm, 19 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Remains of Annette’s shed, Kiah. 12.14, 19 January 2020, 2002

Ruth Maddison, Free barbeque for SES volunteers and Eden locals at Snug Cove wharf. 5.44 pm, 23 January 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Recovery on site of burnt Kiah Church, 10.55 am, 24 April 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Recovery, Upper Kiah Road. 11.02 am, 24 April 2020, 2020

Ruth Maddison, Laying concrete for Annette’s new shed, Kiah. 8.57 am, 30 April 2020, 2020

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Bundanon acknowledges the Wodi Wodi and the Yuin, of the South Coast region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.

In Dharawal the word Bundanon means deep valley.

This website contains names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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