Black and Ash all over


Black and ash all over, 50x70cm, graphite on paper

I recently had the opportunity to go into the bush with the CFA volunteer firefighters soon after the Victorian fires. Decked out in full fire fighting gear we trudged off with a fire truck, 4 wheel drive and handful of firefighters. We were heading off into extremely battered country. My aim was to portray the contrast of firefighters against the elements of nature, yellow against black and blackened burnt out stumps. I wasn't prepared for the devastation that confronted us. There was nothing left except for charred blackness as far as the eye could see. It was like a monster had swallowed everything in its path and I guess it had. There was so much ash that when you walked it was like sinking into soft black snow. I collected some of the charcoal to bring back with me for drawings.
This particular drawing however I have done in graphite. Its of CFA volunteer lieutenant Stephen Douglas who has been involved with the CFA for 15 years. He also fought in the tragic Black Saturday fires. The volunteers not only fight bush fires but also attend rescues, car accidents, power lines down, house fires and various other incidents. What would we do without them?