I Love Our Sunburnt Country


IloveoursunburntcountryIt’s not many sleeps now until Christmas & things are hotting up Down Under.  It is a little surreal to see all of the snow flake art on line when we are entering into our period of highest bushfire danger.  Bushfires are a very real part of my life, having them literally knocking on my back door as we live on the edge of a huge forest.  In 1983 we experienced particularly bad fires –Burnt_pods75 people were killed, thousands of homes & buildings were burnt out & over 400,000 hectares of land was ravaged across 2 states – ironically occuring on Ash Wednesday. Our home inside & out had a layer of ash over everything.  Ash fell like snow.  It was like pictures I have seen of areas adjacent to Ground Zero on 9/11 ……. I have created this digital art from a real painted background that I scanned, then worked my own photographs into using filters & brushes in Photoshop.  I took these photos while in Burnt_remainsTasmania last year on holidays, bushfires had just swept through the area we were visiting.  I just want to say that in Australia it is mostly volunteers that fight bushfires and sometimes it costs them their lives.  I am VERY thankful for the fighting Aussie spirit.  Thanks guys.

This poem below tells a bit about our vast land of Australia, it was written in 1904 & every bit as true today.

My Country
The love of field and coppice of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance, Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it, My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains,
Of rugged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests, All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains, The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops, And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country! Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather, And we can bless again
The drumming of an army, The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks, Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness That thickens as we gaze…

An opal-hearted country, A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her, You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours, Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country My homing thoughts will fly.

This poem by Dorethea Mackeller (1904) bespeaks the very essence of our ‘sunburnt land’

5 responses »

  1. This is an amazing piece Keron and captures the finality of fire so perfectly. Loving the colours in it and going “digital” was a perfect medium for this ethereal artwork.

  2. this is awesome!! and love the poem but sure scary to have to worry and deal with awful brush fires I surely hope this will be a quiet season for you all!!! thanks for sharing!! Hugs Linda

  3. I have goosebumps all over, your imagery and the poem really touched me, living in a country where we don’t experience fires like this it really made me “feel” it.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Keron, I can so relate to the brush fires. Here in Idaho where have them every year. We almost had to evacuate last year but luckily they got the range fire out before it got to close to us always so scary when it gets that close. Love your artwork and the poem.
    Happy Holidays Jonna

  5. Keron, your sunburnt country is beautiful in a strange way, bushfire is never a beautiful thing, but I love the colours, and the seeds look great, your clever girl. Love Jenene xo

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