treespirit1Regen2021.jpg

40. Tree Spirit Guardian. 2021. Charcoal and pastel on up-cycled paper bag. $250

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GARY BOWLER
Artist Statement

 

My artwork reflects my story of the 2019 Sarabah bushfires and conveys my sensory experiences of the bushfires.

 

The smell of smoke.

 

The feeling of claustrophobia of being cloaked in a blanket of what had previously been old growth forest.

 

The sight of the bare stark colours, skies filled with murky depths of warm hues. Later the first blushes of green from the fresh grass shoots, and trunks sprouting leaves on trees that managed to survive, like green socks and sleeves.

 

The sound of the ‘choppers’ overhead on their relentless pursuit to tame the fires. Later the silence of a forest stripped of insects, birds and wildlife.

 

The fears, the unknowing, vulnerability, sadness, grief and loss. The later highs, everybody being safe and the invaluable sense of connection through friendship, kindness and supportive relationships and community groups.

 

The feeling of survivor guilt – my house still standing while others lost everything. Then finally in the end the smiles and the hugs, the tears and teas (and Whiskey!)