Braidwood-based artist Jack Featherstone has been commissioned to paint three canvases for the Two Fires Festival announced for next May.
Featherstone’s son, Murray, brought back two circular canvases from a recent trip and said to his father, ‘Here you go, Dad; get to work’, the artist said.
Featherstone had never come across a circular canvas before and was delighted to have a go at it.
“It was perfect for the Two Fires artwork I have done,” Featherstone said.
He began the art of painting 50 years ago, in 1966, and has continued ever since.
Born in 1929, Featherstone is now a “young 87”.
He moved to Braidwood in 2003 and was welcomed into the town’s art fraternity.
When Featherstone’s father passed away, it sparked a painting spree.
His mother and grandmother were also painters.
Listening to his life experiences, such as hearing about working with indigenous people, reveals this gentleman’s wealth is in that experience, made into paintings.
He used one of the large circular canvases for a recent painting.
It features Mount Jillamatong, north of ‘Braidy’, as Featherstone calls Braidwood.
The painting also features Judith Wright, an internationally renowned Australian poet, who wrote the poem ‘The Two Fires’ in the 1950s.
On the painting, one fire depicts a ‘hydrogen bomb’.
The atom bombings during the ‘50s were a great concern for humanity and for Wright at the time.
The second fire depicts ‘life itself’.
Wright lived in Braidwood for many years prior to her death in Canberra in 2000.
Her name is well-known and remains associated with Braidwood and the arts forum.
The Two Fires Festival of arts and activism celebrates her pioneering work. The two fires also symbolise these twin passions.
The canvas also features personalities such as indigenous man Max Harrison from south coast.
In the artwork, the two fires are sending up smoke signals to neighbouring areas, inviting them to the Festival.
The two fires also depict white and black relations.
Dhurga Rock, a landmark of Braidwood, and the old council chambers are also featured in the painting.
The Two Fires Festival committee is working to develop an exciting program for next year.
The festival dates are Friday to Sunday, May 12 to 14.
The opening ceremony, with a special fire-lighting, is planned for the Friday at 10am.
The festival’s theme will be ‘Passing the Torch’.
It aims to involve and inspire more young people in art and activism, particularly relating to indigenous rights.
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