In Regrowth after the fires, Gwen Garoni (1933-2014) powerfully demonstrates the devastation wrought on the landscape by the all engulfing Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009. This compelling pictorial narrative is informed by Garoni’s intimate knowledge and deep connection to the land of her ancestors. The hills and valleys of her Taurgurong country are laid bare, devoid of trees and vegetation, homes are burned out and the cost of human and wildlife loss is catastrophic. In the aftermath of the worst bushfires in Australia’s history, the healing process of nature’s regrowth begins.
Aunty Gwen Garoni was a respected Victorian Koori Elder and a descendant of the Taungurong people of north-east Victoria. Her work reflects upon the significance of place, family connections and cultural identity. Her art is grounded in her love of Country and explores the Australian landscape, ancestral memories and early colonial history.
Garoni was a winner of the DATSICC emerging artist award for the Gumbri White Dove Acquisitive Prize (2006 and 2010), a finalist in the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards (2006 and 2007) and a finalist in the ANL Maritime Art Prize (2009 and 2011). Her artwork is held in public and private collections.
Regrowth after the fires © Gwen Garoni