Truth in Fire
At the end of 2019, filmmaker and photographer Tim Georgeson embarked on the project Truth in Fire in response to the catastrophic bushfires “BLACK SUMMER” on the South East Coast of Australia. Using moving image, sound and photography Georgeson captured the environmental impact of an unprecedented number of fires initiated by thunderstorms across the Yuin Nation. Featuring in this exhibition, the works Requiem for a forest and Anthropomorphosis communicate the deep sense of loss felt by First Nations people and their path toward the healing of Country.
Georgeson extended the project in 2021 when he met Victor Cooper (Guruwalu), a Minitja man, while travelling to Kakadu in the Northern Territory. Here the artist experienced the sensitive interplay between Aboriginal people and Country through cultural burning, practices that are founded on over 65,000 years of intergenerational knowledge. Georgeson’s images convey the use of fire in maintaining and revitalising an ecological balance, as well as its role in the regeneration of plant species.
Through the mediums of film, photography and sound, we move from death, the Requiem left in the wake of this catastrophic event, to the Renaissance of new life and rebirth that the life cycle always brings. Inside these apocalyptic landscapes and transformational ceremonies, we engage with the First Nations' connection to country and feel the importance of trusting the wisdom of their ancient practices.
Truth in Fire hopes to inspire cross-cultural understanding, support international climate movements and give a push for new legislation that allows for Australian First Nations people to participate in important ecological decisions - making around crucial survival issues.
These First Nations fire practices are the beacon of global sustainability for our ecological future.
I would like to acknowledge and thank all Australian indigenous communities involved in this project for sharing knowledge.
Requiem For a Forest
2020 / 2021
Black and White + sound
Aspect ratio 16:9
Colour + sound
Aspect ratio 16:9