Recycled burntout inner tubes shredded and woven, steel x 18 pieces
2nd version but freestanding
steel fabrication by dave rainey
Photo courtesy of the artist
I trained officially as an artist between 1991-2000, attending Monash university as well as the Victorian College of the Arts. During this time I obtained an undergraduate, post graduate and masters degree. Prior to this i had a whole history of weaving, something which has influenced my work ever since.
I have exhibited a variety of work, much of this using recycled materials, all over Australia and a number of overseas venues including taking part in a number of environmental sculpture projects such as the floating land at Noosa.
After working in an indigenous community on Cape York and visiting many other of the well known indigenous art centres, there is no doubt that this, as well as living on an environmentally sensitive coastal property, travelling to Antarctica and through many remote areas of Australia has heightened my response to environmental issues.
My work is represented in many regional galleries, the state library of Queensland, as well as corporate and private collections.
‘firesticks’ reflects on the history of fire in our Australian landscape –how, historically fire has been used by indigenous people to control and renew the bush, a method known as ‘firestick’ farming, and how at times uncontrollable wildfires have destroyed human life and habitation over vast areas-perhaps due to our lack of understanding of how to manage the bush. The fire that destroyed 70% of the act’s pastures, pine plantations, nature parks, the mt Stromlo observatory and eventually the suburbs of Canberra on January 18th, 2003 is commemorated in this work.
After seeing the destruction caused by fires in Victoria’s Yarra valley in 2009, I began collecting burnt out inner tubes to create sculptures. Many hours of hand cutting these by hand and slowly weaving them on a loom into long strips reminiscent of burnt trees over several years has culminated in this special freestanding piece for contour 556 2018.