These last few days have been some of the darkest in Australia's history. Whole Victorian towns have been wiped out by bush fires and fresh fires are still burning. People have lost their mothers, their children, their fathers, their pets. Hundreds of lives have been lost by those who stayed to protect their houses and those that couldn't escape. Cars full of escaping families have been found burned and as hard as the firefighters and volunteers battle the flames, the winds continue to whip them them through the land causing them to spread and join. Hospital burns units are heaving and survivors are left with only the singed clothes on their backs, but the sickest thing of all is that they were deliberately lit...and now, the looters have shown up to scavenge what little of others' meager posessions are left.
I chose paper on paper to represent the 700 homes, 130 lives and many thousands of trees that have been scorched and felled. The tiny black dots represent transformed trees burnt to ashes, the pink being the human spirit that shines through and the remainder are the mess, the grief and the missing that surrounds them. If I lost my family and the safety of my world, if I had to rummage through other peoples donated clothes and sleep in a tent city and have not even a single pair of clean undies to my name...I wonder if I wouldn't just cry and cry. So the word I wrote was 'sad' and the last pic is but 'a smattering of hope' - because that's all there is when nothing else is left.