Thursday, April 27, 2017


Fire and Flood: Extremus Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017

I have painted another image that speaks to our planetary home's current environmental dilemmas - extreme weather events, environmental degradation, pollution and more. What is not consumed by fire and heat will be subsumed by flooding waters - maybe? 

The type of landscape is unclear - it appears to be both sky and land, cosmic even. Is the fire a sign of earthly remnants burning off their last signs of existence? Is the flood the spilling of cosmic tears? Are we looking through tears down onto a landscape or up through them to an endless sky? Maybe the fire and the flood are ghostly essences, reminders that a planet once existed? 

But, maybe the fire and flood are signs of new life, a cauldron of possibility? Maybe fire, water and unseen forces are stirring universal alchemic processes that bring forth new possibilities? These new possibilities - material or spiritual...

Apart from thinking about our planet and its future, and therefore humanity's future, this painting was inspired by recent devastating floods here in Queensland, Australia, in the aftermath of super-Cyclone Debbie. I have personally experienced rising waters in four floods, one in Dalby where I grew up, two in Goondiwindi where I lived for eighteen years and one in Brisbane during the 2011 floods. Fortunately none caused major losses. However, I do know what it is like to be an island, completely cut off, snakes seeking the same high ground you are on, the dankness of mud as the waters recede...

The painting is also inspired by memories of the massive fires my father and other farmers lit to burn off crop stubble. This practice was stopped at some stage and farmers then started to plough stubble back into the soil. However, I still have vivid childhood memories of fires that covered whole paddocks. Flames leaped into the air, into darkening skies. These flames seemed to lick at the stars, teasing them. Dusk and at night were the safest times for the farmers to set fire to stubble...the air is still then. 

The dark night skies of my childhood are the entry points for my cosmic travelling - imagined in my paintings. 

The Center for the Study of the Drone, Bard College, New York conducted an interview with me about my dronescapes. The interviewer is Maggie Barnett.  Portfolio: Dronescapes by Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox


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