Ashes - Mixed media on paper. This artwork recounts the artist's experiences of the bushfires in the Healesville area.
Image: Michael, a student at Healesville Primary School
Source: Museum Victoria
20 artworks created by the students of Healesville Primary School have joined other objects from the Victorian Bushfires Collection on the museum’s Collections Online site.
Said Peg Fraser, one of three curators of the Victorian Bushfires Collection, “the artworks were produced by children during the time of the Black Saturday bushfires and show a range of subjects, from the fire itself and its aftermath to emergency services and wildlife-related topics.”
Like many parts of Victoria, Healesville suffered fire threats and evacuations during the extreme fire season at the start of 2009. Healesville Primary School was closed for four days and students were surrounded by smoke, fire-fighting equipment and the ever-present fear of bushfire. These vivid experiences were recorded in drawings, collage and paintings created in art classes at the school.
39 of the artworks were on display in the Melbourne Gallery at Melbourne Museum over the course of the summer, from 29 November 2009 to 31 January 2010. 37 of these were donated by the artists and their parents and are now part of the museum’s permanent collection. The Victorian Bushfires Collection documents the impact of bushfires upon communities through images, objects and personal stories. Making the collection available online is a major goal to make it accessible to affected communities so that they may commemorate, share stories and rebuild.