Fremantle Artist Bruce Abbott will ceremonially set fire to his ‘Beached Trees’ sculpture this Sunday as part of the conclusion of Sculpture at Bathers.
The work is an arrangement of 35 Jarrah trees installed into the beach just above the high tide mark. Abbott describes the firing of the trees as a contemporary participative ceremony.
“We have in large part lost our connection to nature and to ceremony, both of which are major parts of being human. Bathers Beach has an incredibly rich history both indigenous and settler and it still holds all those stories. Fire has traditionally been used as a purifying tool. Our goal is this ceremony is to connect deeply with the history of this place, to feel that history, all of it, and then let it all go with the fire. Only then can we imagine a new future not tied to the past.”
Bruce and his Enviro Business Replants.com are pioneers in public ceremonial works involving fire, with his company supplying grass trees to be burnt for PIAF openings for over a decade.
“My work with the Balgas has given me access to this ceremonial work and as part of that I have been blessed to learn more about our First People’s culture and have made some great connections with Nyoongar mob.”
Part of the “Nyoongar mob” involved with this ceremony include well known Elder Noel Nannup who will MC/Narrate the ceremony and Nyoongar Dance groups led by Karla Hart, Della Rae and Will Hayward.
Noel Nannup was part of the creative team that put together the spectacular PIAF opening “Boorna Waanginy : The Trees Speak” held in Kings Park last month.
Wardarn barindji is literally “sea breeze”, and refers to a cleansing, beautiful breeze.
As part of this Sunday’s ceremony, community will be welcomed in with a “smoking” and like all good ceremonies there’ll be a bit of singing and dancing.