Craft + Design Canberra is delighted to partner with ACT Parks and Conservation to commission a local Canberra artist to produce a work of public art for the Namadgi Visitors Centre.

The new work will respond to the theme of “Fire in the Landscape” and create a narrative for discussion and contemplation especially as climate change continues to influence the severity and frequency of weather events here in the ACT.

After a rigorous selection process we are delighted to announce that the winning artist is Rebecca Selleck with her design Fallen Leaves.

Rebecca Selleck describes her concept for the new work Fallen Leaves in the following statement:

The Orroral Valley bushfire was so big and close we could see it from our backyard. I had my newborn in my arms. I could feel the thousands of choked breaths and splintering of great limbs as ecosystems collapsed. I felt scared for my child’s future. For all our kids’ futures.

The land wasn’t recognisable. The fires were so hot they destroyed too much. But still the charred eucalypts shot out their epicormic growth. Along with other devastating fires around Australia, the Orroral Valley fire was the catalyst for intensifying conversations across the country around climate change and human impact.

For those of us who choose to remember, we go on with sorrow in our hearts and hope for the future. This art work will be a reminder; On a rounded granite base, a full-size child lays, tenderly touching the hand of a kangaroo joey. These bronze figures are both at rest, facing towards Mount Tennent. Curved over them is the blackened bronze form of a burnt young eucalypt still in the act of sheltering, and below their leaves form a golden carpet in polished bronze.”

The work will be created and installed in a permanent location outside the Namadgi Visitors Centre and should be open to the public by mid 2024.

We also commend the two runner up designs by Craft + Design Canberra Artists Holly Grace and Aaron Robison; and Dan Lorimer.

Image | Rebecca Selleck