From June 29–July 3 2011, Melbourne’s iconic Fed Square was transformed by some of Victoria’s most gifted regional artists and their communities. As part of Regional Arts Victoria’s statewide project Illuminated by Fire, 10 extraordinary projects were installed and showcased with a series of events, talks and tours.
During our week-long residency, which encompassed four day-time panel discussions, four day-time tours of the work with the artists, three night time performances and five days of general exhibition, we estimate that close to 5,000 Melbournians directly engaged with the work. Many were greatly moved by the stories they heard. The project aimed to use arts processes to engage regional communities in a discussion about fire experience in order to develop greater resilience in dealing with the preparations for the annual fire season and in dealing with the aftermath of fire events.
We also aimed through the Melbourne exhibition to shift attitudes in the broader community from fire as something to be feared to fire as an essential part of our ongoing survival. We have done this and more – astonishing people with the power of beautiful work to truly create an impact.
Speakers over the week included Kevin Tolhurst, Rob Gell, Donna Jackson, Bruce Esplin, John Schauble, Simone Blair, Robyn Archer, Arnold Zable, Danielle Clode, Carmel Wallace, Tracy Bourne and Catherine Larkins.
Illuminated by Fire was presented in 2011 as part of The Light in Winter at Fed Square.