Banksia core

While travelling through Kurnai Country (Gippsland) in December 2021, it’s impossible not to think of big bushfires. Everywhere is still blackened by fire even though the flames were extinguished almost two years ago. There is plenty of green to give encouragement that renewal will be possible but it’s all young, new growth. 

I’m on a coastal walk and I can see the fire had roared up over the hills, but the ocean had tamed it and gave it nowhere else to go. Banksias are clumped on scorched trees with their mouth-like seed pods open wide. I’ve always been interested in banksias because they have learned to live with fire (they drop their seeds after being burned). I see what looks like the inner core of a banksia flower but I’m not sure what stage of growth it’s at.

Maybe it was burned and now it’s struggling to regrow or maybe it’s brand new and yet to mature. Perhaps it had colourful stamen growing from it but birds ripped them out. Whatever it’s doing, I enjoy how its unique shape is prominent against the sky and that it’s showing me new colours and textures.

Banksia core
30cm x 40cm
Oil on canvas

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