An oil painting capturing the devastation of the Black Summer bushfires has been gifted to Tinonee Rural Fire Brigade.
The painting, by local artist Ron Hindmarsh, was presented to the brigade on behalf to the community on Saturday, July 25 in gratitude for the heroic efforts of the firefighters who saved the village late last year.
Ron first conceived the idea on Anzac Day, during the stillness of dawn as he stood at the end of his driveway.
When Alan Steber, president of the Tinonee brigade, heard Ron's proposal for a painting on behalf of the Tinonee community, he jumped at the idea. It seemed a perfect tribute and a thank you from the community to the firies for all that was done to protect life, property, pets and livestock.
"Most people don't realise just how close that Hillville fire came to the Tinonee village last November," Alan said. "It was touch and go for a bit."
Ron completed the painting earlier in the year but the coronavirus pandemic meant the presentation could not take place for a while.
"It was rather therapeutic to paint this one," Ron said.
"Those fires impacted the entire community. The people suffered, the countryside suffered, the environment suffered.
"We are all just incredibly grateful for those local RFS heroes who worked so hard to keep us safe."
Ron and Wingham artist Jillian Oliver run free art classes in Wingham for firefighters, returned defence personnel, and other emergency workers who might find art a useful means of therapy and expressing their creativity.
Art and Soul is held fortnightly at 51 Isabella Street Wingham. No art skills are required. Contact Ron directly on 6553 1203 or visit the Art and Soul - Wingham Art Group Facebook page to find out more.