Fire and Water in Canberra

Just occasionally magic things happen – especially in Australia!  This evening, I went for a short walk at dusk along the lake-side in Canberra, watching the sun go down behind Parliament House and reading about the various pieces of artwork and sculptures scattered between the High Court and the National Library.  Near the latter, at Reconciliation Place, I came across a large sculpture, with curved brown ‘arms’ sticking up into the air, surrounding what appeared to be a large shiny black rock that looked a bit like a stranded seal, on a bed of largely grey tiles.

This was a piece of art called Fire and Water by Judy Watson, which has been described as follows: “Judy Watson’s Fire and Water artwork creates an evocative experience that saturates the senses and establishes a strong sense of place. Watson uses a series of sculptural elements, ephemeral water devices, floor inlays plantings and striking like ‘bower’ like screens to initiate the journey into Reconciliation Place.” Judy Watson is an Aboriginal descendant of the Waanyi people of north-east Queensland, and she “explores issues of heritage, identity and isolation in her public works. She has won national and international recognition for her work including an invitation to the 1997 Venice Biennale”.

The sky was darkening, and as I was taking photographs, lights suddenly came on and transformed the scene. The brown arms glowed orange, and the black stone shone in the thickening darkness.  But then, as I looked at the photos I had taken, the blackness turned to blue, capturing the flowing sense of water in a truly magical way: here really were fire and water, mingling together at a place of reconciliation…


1 Comment

Filed under Photographs

One response to “Fire and Water in Canberra

  1. Shireen

    Gorgeous photo, Tim!

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