Upon My Skin and the Land 2020, Screen Prints

Bushfires are not uncommon in Australia but the 2019-20 season was the worst in a long time with it lasting several months. Over 46 million acres were burned leaving an impact on the land, fauna and the people. Even when attempting to be prepared, the impact on our lives as individuals and communities is drastic.

 

As a child I experienced the 2003 Canberra Bushfires, having lived through it there are memories of the black sky in the middle of the day, fires only a few hundred metres away, evacuating and sitting around listening to the emergency radio while watching trees burn through binocular. There are also memories of  the ash blackened ground being speckled with new green growth. You can speak to many Canberrans and Australians and you are sure to hear stories of their own experiences. Even after we survive marks are left on ourselves and on the land. You can walk through the bush filled with trees no older than a teenager, or ask people where they were on the day of the fires and the mood will change. When the 2019 season came early and was predicted to be our worse one yet daily life changed and question of how much this would be like our previous experiences were left hanging in the orange smoke filled air.

Upon My Skin and the Land is a series of prints that draw from my experience of the bushfires, representing the change and the marks left behind on all of us.

 © Tayla Blewitt-Gray