Veronica O'Leary

our land is burning - tasmanian fires 2019, 2020

Oil on canvas

183 x 122 CM

From the artist

This painting is a response to surviving the fires first in Tathra 2018 where I work in my garden/ bush studio and then in Dec 2019 when we once again evacuated. Working on King Island Tasmania I was made acutely aware of the fires in Tasmania. I have worked on this painting to suggest the fierce intensity and devouring strength of those unprecedented fires which have destroyed precious habitat in Tasmania as well as huge tracts of land and homes in Australia,Tasmania and Kangaroo Island.The unrelenting ferocity of these fires called for a bold hot palette and a surging energy in paint application to convey fear, powerlessness and vulnerability in the face of a force unleashed on a world in which we have ignored the implications of climate change.The scale of the work is large in an attempt to overwhelm the viewer into that moment of utter helpless abadonment to the unstoppable fire force.