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11 December 2020 – 30 January 2021. Free exhibition. ACP Popup Gallery, 43 Kinghorne St, Nowra


The ACP, with the support of the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, is pleased to present Truth in Fire a project by Tim Georgeson and Amanda Jane Reynolds that responds to the catastrophic bushfires of 2019-20. Filmmaker and photographer Georgeson along with Reynolds, a Guringai artist living on the South Coast, have collaborated with Indigenous knowledge holders and the Firesticks Alliance to produce an exhibition that communicates the complexity and ferocity of this environmental disaster. Truth in Fire is series of inter-related components, including culturally significant objects, photographs, and a three-part moving image and sound installation.

Georgeson’s moving image installation features burnt expanses of forests and agriculture lands transmitting to the viewer the scale and degree of devastation. Between these images of the affected landscape are interludes of Yuin Elders, and other community members, speaking about their experiences of the disaster and the relationship between fire and Country. Looking to the future, it draws on their knowledge of traditional fire techniques, as well as presenting the sacred and practical role fire can play in managing the environment.

This project has been supported by Elder Vivian Mason, Noel Webster, Adrian ‘Ado’ Webster, Warren Foster, as well as Oliver Costello and Victor Steffensen, co-founders of the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation. These powerful images are complemented by an original score by Polish musician Hania Rani and a soundscape edited and designed by Andrew Holmes, supported by Zane Whitfield on Requiem for a forest. Threaded throughout are sound elements that Georgeson extracted from the environment, ranging from the extraordinary thunder of the inferno to the deep silence that penetrated the land following the event.

Also integral to this project is a possum skin cloak installation by Reynolds that is emblematic of contemporary cultural practices that invoke the rejuvenation of Country.

We hear the heartbeat of Country from birth, it nurtures us. Now in this time the cloaks and carvings are part of our healing practices - of us giving back to Country. Amanda Jane Reynolds

In the aftermath of last summer’s devastating fires in Australia, and then along the west coast of North America, there is an urgency for communities to adapt and negotiate extremes in human-created climate change. This exhibition recognises the significance of First Nations knowledge and practices as the foundation of living in greater balance within Country by managing ecologies and resources for the continuity of life.

From 3 February the exhibition will be at ACP Project Space Gallery in Sydney, located at 19-21 Foley St, corner of Crown St, Darlinghurst.

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