Contemplation In The Hall That Survived The Fires

Highly Commended
  • Artist: Sue Jarvis
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Artwork size unframed (mm): 500 x 1500
  • Price: $3,200.00

In early March 2019, a lightning fire destroyed a large swathe of rural area and bushland in the Bunyip State Forest area of West Gippsland. Flora, fauna, homes and property were destroyed.
2 years on, I with two others worked as Creative Recovery Facilitators with the locals.

A song emerged from memories and experiences at a workshop guided by songwriter and composer Stephen Taberner and Facilitator Gulsen Ozer. It is fitting that the 1930 era Tonimbuk Hall which survived the Fire and was the centre for Recovery was used for the workshop. Its wooden panelling give this study a timeless quality.

This artwork is a study of some present at the workshop including those who lost property, helpers from Blaze Aid and local volunteers. A genre work, it is of a group relaxed in contemplation of common experiences.

My interest in past black and white photography and film is evident here. There did not seem to be a need for more than monochrome.

The panoramic format was largely dictated by the Covid spacing between the guests present.

Judge’s Comment:
I can almost feel the tired and worn out energy of these figures. You’ve managed to really capture the mood of the room, both in the execution and in the palette of the piece. It’s a really interesting composition, with all four men staring away from the viewer, as if they’re all elsewhere, contemplating the turn of events. The length of the piece also suggests the scene continues on, with others out of the picture we can’t see. A really moving image.