Bushfires bring out best in art students 

Art student Sarah Joyce places ‘Medike’ in the kiln after 27 patient hours transforming a “lump of clay” into a work of art

The bushfires that swept through large parts of Central Australia this year have inspired Charles Darwin University art students whose exhibition “All Fired Up” opens at Araluen Gallery in Alice Springs on Monday 5 December.

Visual Arts lecturer Henry Smith said the fires were the main talking point for several weeks as they raged in the desert and dominated the news through winter and spring.

“We [students and staff] talked about a title for the exhibition and decided “All Fired Up” echoed our sentiments both in terms of topicality, but also because it resonates with the passion and energy that students invested into their studies and creative pieces.”

Mr Smith said the Certificate I, II and IV courses in Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft gave students a good grounding in painting, drawing, sculpture, print making and ceramics.

“There are quite a number of good examples for each type, reflecting the technical skill and the journey that each artist is on.”

Mr Smith said about 100 students had enrolled in a number of certificate courses – or in “units of personal interest” – throughout the year.

“There’s a lot of interest from students both here in town and from out bush, so we have good momentum going into next year.”

Mr Smith said he was thrilled to have secured the Witchetty’s Gallery in Araluen for both this year’s exhibition and next year’s.

“All Fired Up will run for just one week (5-9 December) but as the premiere venue for art in Alice Springs, Araluen offers a degree of prestige and good accessibility to any exhibit that it accepts.”