The Woodpile

The humble woodpile evokes memories of gathering around the warm glow of an open fire. On my last visit to Tasmania I was drawn to the subtle, cubist structures of the woodpile at the end of the garden, with its abstract pattern of logs and subtle variations in tones. But the woodpile also has a more sinister side. Tasmanians are the greatest consumers, per person, of firewood in Australia, with half of households burning timber as their primary heat source, and this has dire consequences. Much of the 600,000 tonnes of firewood consumed per year in Tasmania comes from irreplaceable hardwood forests, the habitat of threatened plant and animal species which need these forests to survive. The unpalatable fact is that if we continue to rely on wood fires, the landscapes that Glover painted with their majestic trees will cease to exist and live on only in his paintings. I chose the woodpile as a symbol of both the familiarly domestic and the unsettling reminder of how seemingly innocuous everyday actions can have lasting repercussions on the natural world.

Peter Edgeley


Oil on canvas