By Kendrea Rhodes
The natural environment is important to Adelaide Hills communities; it shapes what we do, what we eat, where we go, who we meet, and often why. After the Cudlee Creek bushfires in 2019, the collective grief of the communities within the fire scar affected each and every aspect that makes the Adelaide Hills special. Amongst the heartache however, there are activities and initiatives generating positivity and providing opportunities to reflect on what makes the Adelaide Hills a wonderful place to call home.
Lynne Griffiths, Adelaide Hills Council Cultural Development Officer said, “Following the Cudlee Creek bushfire, members of the community expressed an interest in creating a public artwork that recognised people’s loss of property through the fires—an artwork that also reflects on their relationship with the Adelaide Hills as home.”
A project called “Reflections of Home” has been developed from community consultation with the aim of providing a space where memories, emotions, regeneration, and recovery can be acknowledged.
Hills artist, Jerome Lyons, has created a steel sculpture with a silhouette centrepiece of a black cockatoo depicting the return of the birds to the Hills. Under the centre of the sculpture is a sunken cylinder containing artefacts from the community. It will be sealed, never to be reopened, thus remaining in perpetuity as an integral feature of the artwork. The ethereal quality in the stratified centrepieces of Reflections of Home (both above ground in silhouette and the vessel embedded below) represents the return of life to the area, positive living and aspirations for the future. The project will be installed at Lobethal Bushland Park, a site heavily impacted by the bushfires and close to the hearts of locals.
Public involvement is an essential element of the sculpture and as such, community members are invited to contribute. Suitable items will be small, but they will also embody individual responses to the impact of the fires. They might be reflections, letters or poetry; natural objects and reminders of home, such as stone, wood, feathers, leaves; or other special pieces like fabric, small artworks, yarn, and photographs. An envelope is provided for these items.
Lynne Griffiths said, “The end result will be an artwork that recognises the impact of the bushfires but also looks to the future as a hopeful, resilient and connected community”
What Do You Need To Do?
It’s simple really. If you would like to participate, please contact Lynne Griffiths on 8408 0552 or Miranda Hampton on 8408 0572 for information and guidance. Your involvement can be as private and confidential as you wish and workshops will be available if participants would like to develop their contribution to Reflections of Home.
Essentially though, the basic steps are as follows. First, choose an artefact that represents your relationship with an Adelaide Hills community or location that was impacted by the Cudlee Creek bushfire. If you would like to join a workshop, please contact Lynne or Miranda on the numbers listed previously.
Second, place your artefact into the envelope provided and seal it. Your envelope will not be opened at any stage. Deposit your envelope into one of the staffed collection boxes at either Fabrik Arts + Heritage, Old Woollen Mill, 1 Adelaide Road, Lobethal; or the Woodside Library, 26 Onkaparinga Valley Road, Woodside. If your contribution does not fit into the box, you may also give it to a member of staff. The collection boxes will be removed after the 15th of July.