We Need To Talk About Fire

r e a | imprint | Online Exhibition

Imprint, r e a

"In July this year I received an unexpected but welcome invitation from Bundanon to create a new, site responsive artwork, which explored the impact of the recent fires on this country. Fire had made its way to the boundary of the property and as I drove slowly through the burnt-out landscape, I knew I was witnessing the aftermath of this powerful force called FIRE." - r e a

"After reflecting on my first ‘fire’ work at Bundanon (MAANG) and then feeling the resonance of the recent fires (which had whipped up and down the east coast of Australia), I decided to make an artwork that acknowledged how country, post fire undergoes the remarkable act / actions of revival & regeneration. This idea is part of all Indigenous knowledge systems; fire plays a critical part in how we care for country. Fire is a rebirthing thing for us; it brings the land back to life (Les Simon, Walbanga Elder)."

"I had participated in the inaugural Siteworks (2010) – a collaborative art making residency - which provided me with the impetus, insight and inspiration to make a work entitled MAANG. This was informed by the presence of Indigenous knowledges and the absence of Indigenous languages in this particular landscape. My site-specific artwork arose out of the word MAANG, which is from my language group (Gamilaraay) and translates as message stick; it represented my presence in a landscape that was not my country. In front of the towering word MAANG - made from bales of hay - I mapped the shadow of each letter onto the ground using the invasive weed lantana. As the sun went down we set the lantana on fire and this amplified the fiery shadows created by the burning piles, leaving an imprint, a message stick, a cultural acknowledgment in respect to the country. The act of the burn was accompanied by a soundscape of political text and music: an act of activism!"

"In 2020 I returned to Bundanon and walked on Yuin country (with permission from the traditional owners), always connecting with local & other visiting Indigenous artists, actively listening to local stories, endlessly making connections (the song lines from my country, Wailwan/Gamilaraay & Yuin."

 r e a, Imprint, 2020

r e a, Imprint, 2020


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