Kinglake Fire Series

These paintings were done in 2009/10 after the great conflagration in Victoria in Feb 2009. They are important to me especially since we had built our lives there with the kids for their formative years from 1988-2001, built a house ourselves, the garden of 5 acres and had friends and neighbours directly affected by the fires, houses destroyed and lives lost. It was horrific.

At the time I was living in Madrid and only heard of the events strangely because the only person in the town of St Augustin de Guadalix where I lived then,who spoke English was a Romanian girl at the greengrocer’s. She asked.

“Have you heard of the fires in Australia?”

“Ahhh there’s always fires in Australia…whereabouts?”

“A small place, King’s Lake?”

“Are you sure? Kinglake?”

“Yes, that’s it, Melbourne, Kinglake.”

I tried calling friends there but of course there was no answer and looked up the news which to my horror showed the worse possible scenario and one that during those years had always haunted me every summer.

That morning Victor and I went to the Prado to see a Francis Bacon exhibition and to see his eviscerated tortured images made me suddenly sit on a bench and cry. I m certain the curators felt very smug…look at the effect of Bacon on this woman!

Anyway. I began these works on paper shortly after. They were deliberately done on this medium because of the connection between the flammable medium and the subject. Two of them are large, 2m x 1m but the others are all around 110 x 80 except for the lightbox which is 40 x 70.