‘Fire Fight’ at Nishi Gallery, Canberra

The relentless Australian Bushfire Crisis that has raged on for more than three months across the country is finally beginning to subside this week. Unfortunately the damage will go on impacting Australians extensively, and when a disaster starts giving way to the aftermath it’s easy to wonder what to do next.

There are a lot of inspiring people acting in inspiring ways to ensure we don’t forget about the environments, communities, and animals around the country that were affected by fires this summer. One of these hopeful, thoughtful acts is taking place at Canberra’s Nishi Gallery in the form of ‘Fire Fight Exhibition’.

Claire Warren, NYE (Lake Conjola), framed inkjet print

Organised by local arts and entertainment coordinators, Degenerate & Six, this exhibition brings together works from 30 Canberra artists to participate in a month-long silent auction. The show opened on 30th January 2020 and will close on 29th February.

Opening night saw pre-sale tickets and door sales both sell out with all proceeds going to WIRES to help fund the work they are doing to rescue and protect Australian wildlife following the bushfires. Many of the artists have also elected to donate 100% of the profits made on the sale of their works through the ongoing silent auction.

You can bid in person at the gallery or lodge an online bid via direct message to Degenerate Six, please supply your contact details when doing so.

Luke Chiswell, All Those Trees, acrylic on canvas, aluminium frame

Among the local visual artists was ANU graduate Luke Chiswell – a painter and sculptor who donated a black and white piece titled ‘All Those Trees’. Chiswell’s work is timely, recalling the blackened, burnt out ash that seems to be smeared over our landscape. Works were also donated by other members of Canberra’s rich community of emerging artists including Musonga Mbogo and Claire Warren.

Musonga Mbogo, Smoke In My Room, unframed canvas, acrylic, oil

The evening was sponsored by some of Canberra’s leading businesses and institutions including ANU MakerSpace, Capital Brewing Co., Nishi Gallery, and Dynamic Audio Visual – an indication of the widespread desire to act in ways that might begin to repair the massive damages we are faced with.

The concept for this exhibition was born out of a pervasive sense of despair and helplessness in the midst of a crisis. Its result has been something else entirely. The community support has been overwhelming; a swell of generosity and connection brought forth at a time when it was truly needed.

The ‘Fire Fight Exhibition’ event follows on from ‘Fire Fight – NSW RFS Fundraiser,’ the first in a series of ‘Fire Fight’ events designed by Canberra’s creatives “to bring people together and remind us our collective strength”.