August’s SALA Festival offered the opportunity for Fabrik to reopen after COVID closure, but it was important to acknowledge that the impact of the fire remained front of mind for the community.
In May 2020 artist Jane Skeer had undertaken a Country Arts SA residency on Kangaroo Island, a community also affected by summer fires.
As a past Island resident, Jane’s return to the aftermath of the fires was confronting and emotional.
Her response was to focus her considerable energy on the burnt Xanthorrhoea stumps she had collected as part of her research. Smashing the stumps, Jane used the remains to create expressive, large scale drawings.
Inviting Jane to exhibit her work at Fabrik was an opportunity to connect both South Australian firegrounds.
In Lobethal’s Bushland Park, over 100 hectares of remnant bush, including native grasses, rare orchids and Xanthorrhoeas were destroyed. At the time of this exhibition, the Xanthorrhoeas had regenerated magnificently, displaying six foot high flowers.
This exhibition by Jane acknowledged the loss of both fire affected communities and celebrated the regenerative process In nature.