Mysteries of the Burning Bush

Bissett, S.Z. 2017 Summer HazeBissett, S.Z. 2017 Freed By FireBissett, S.Z. 2017 Angel of the Morning

My work has been delivered to my next exhibition venue, Gatakers Artspace at 311 Kent Street, Maryborough where it will be installed this week. The opening night is this coming Friday, March 3 at 6pm. My friend and fellow toastmaster, Audrey Plate has agreed to do the opening speech. The exhibition, entitled Mysteries of the Burning Bush, deals with the cycle of fire and regeneration in the Australian bush, and also alludes to the biblical burning bush of Moses in the Old Testament.

A signature work is the Menorah Column, detail pictured below.Bissett, Z. Cast paper Menorah

The Menorah Column displays the theme motif of this exhibition, the Burning Bush. The design of the 7-candle menorah is meant to resemble the Old Testament burning bush, from which God called Moses to become deliverer of Israel.

In this exhibition, the menorah motif relates to the use of fire in managing the Australian landscape. Here, the menorah/flaming bush motif represents the need for a new covenant with the Australian Country, in which we recognise the wisdom of the traditional custodians in their use of fire to manage regeneration and growth.

Other works include The Good Banksia Women, (in contrast to May Gibbs’ bad Banksia men) who use the fire’s force to expel their seeds and enable  regeneration after fire.

The name given to the type of coastal ecosystem in which the Banksia Aemula is predominant comes from the Butchulla people’s name for this plant, wallum.

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Susan Zela Bissett (Zela) is an educator, writer and artist with a lifetime involvement in environmental education and advocacy. Zela was born on Butchulla Country in Maryborough and has worked as an artist, educator, permaculture gardener, studio potter and consultant. She is passionate about sustainable lifestyles, maintaining habitat for wildlife and about unleashing the creativity in all of us.

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