For artist Ray Monde, all his artworks have a personal narrative to it.
Residing in Bombay near Braidwood, he experienced the devastating bushfires during summer in the area.
A recipient of the 2020 Veolia Creative Arts Practice Scholarship, he plans to use the $3000 scholarship to create a series of artworks that take a snapshot of a moment in time immediately after the fires.
"The proximity of the fires have been a constant threat with smoke plumes menacing the sky for months. Our immediate efforts have been in fighting the fires, defending homes, and rallying support for each other. I think there will be a significant knock-on effect of the fires on our emotional well-being," he said.
"These works will show the blackened landscapes, the wreaths of food left out for wildlife, the trucks on fire grounds, and people in front of their homes. When we look back at these works in twelve months' time we will be able to relive it and let go," he said.
He considers creating artworks as a healing process after experiencing the devastating bushfires.
"I want to explore and create artworks and use that as a conversation piece for the community to talk about the impact of bushfires as a process of healing," he said.
"While going to bed, I could see the fire moving slowly across the mountain range through the glass window. Just having that red glow around you every night was daunting.
"I am grateful to the Bombay Fire Brigade. In a heartbeat, everything could have gone and I can't ever repay them for saving me and our property," he said.
Meanwhile, Ray Monde will showcase his artworks at a major solo exhibition at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery in 2022.
It will be a series of landscapes between Goulburn and Braidwood.
"My plan is to walk from Goulburn to Braidwood for six days and make sketches along the way to create an exhibition in response to what I see on that journey," the artist said.
Currently in the US, he travelled there in February to showcase his work on an art exhibition in Los Angeles. Due to COVID-19, that exhibition was postponed.
"It's been a productive time for me and I have been working on my exhibitions," he said.
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