Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Make good art

"When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too." - Neil Gaiman

This quote by Neil Gaiman has resonated with me, time and time again this past week.
A lot of people in Adelaide are now counting their losses due to the terrible bushfire in the Adelaide Hills. We never thought we would be caught up in such a thing as we only ever think of these disasters happening in the hills or out in country areas. But a lot of us live near vegetation and in our case, where the suburb meets the outskirts of the hills, we had visited the area where the fire started just a week ago! And here we were, evacuating our home.

We managed to collect the important documents we could think of, data, cameras and computers. We left in the middle of the night, and it was a surreal experience to watch people leave. It was like peak hour, with some people just trying to get pictures of the glow you could see at the back of the suburb.
Overnight as we waited for news, all sorts of things went through my head. I was checking my tweeter feed for any (bad) news, but that never came. The next day we were able to go back home and everything was intact, with just the smokey air.

I had booked a shoot for the next day, but I managed to reschedule it for the following day (Sunday). We went to a park in town and we made it for early morning. The temperature had dropped and the park was cool and peaceful. I watched the family I was photographing and they reminded me of my own. I felt nothing but gratitude for having passed this hurdle; all we lost was a bit of sleep.
I'm now working on a series of mini photo shoots, with the proceeds going to the bushfire relief effort.

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