A View Through the Valley
Kat Brown, local Corryong linoprint artist, was inspired to create "A View Through the Valley" after the 2019-2020 Black Summer fires. Kat was commissioned by The Man from Snowy River Tourist Association to produce this artwork with the aid of a bushfire recovery grant from Border Trust. The installation is part of a bigger project (initiated by a community group) to upgrade the Playles' Hill park. (https://www.facebook.com/PlaylesHillProject)
The Black Summer fires began with a lightning strike on 29th December 2019 near Walwa. On the 30th and 31st December the fires swept through the Upper Murray, impacting Corryong in the early hours of 31st December. More than 225,000 ha of the Upper Murray were burnt, including almost all of Mt Mittamatite and the Corryong Valley. 40 places of primary residences were destroyed, including 3 in the town of Corryong. Over 6,000 stock and 250 sheds were destroyed and many other structures damaged. The Upper Murray fire was finally declared contained on 25th January 2020.
The artwork sits on a high point in Playles' Hill Park, overlooking the town of Corryong, Mt Mittamatite and the Corryong valley. Many locals spent the night of the 31st December watching the flames sweeping across the face of the mountain.
Kat as a specialist in lino print work had previously created a print to depict the town of Corryong. This has been modified to adapt it to a laser cut in corten steel. The focus is many of the historic and notable buildings in the town as well as the Corryong Valley and Mt Mittamatite.
The original "Corryong" artwork was sent to the United States to be modified by computer so that it would work as a laser cut design. Kat then modified this further to add in aspects to recognise the impact of the bushfires on our landscape. Burnt trees were added to the western end (top left) of Mt Mittamatite to depict the impact of the fire on the mountains. The majority of the laser cut work was done by machine (Lightfield Plasma in Lankey's Creek). The final touches were done by hand laser cut work. Kat worked with her husband Phil on these finer details. The steel sheet was then chemically "rusted" to form the corten steel. This will futher weather as it ages.
The town of Corryong is represented by images depicting the statue of The Man from Snowy River, Black Sheep cafe, the Corryong Post Office, the Courthouse Hotel, Roger C Brown (formerly the "Coffee Palace"), the Memorial Hall with Cafe Brew and the statue of "Horrie", the Commonwealth Bank, the old Primary School and numerous other notable buildings which line the main precinct. The Towong Turf Club grandstand with its post and rail fencing is also depicted, as are the roads to Towong, Cudgewa and around Mt Mittamatite. A variety of different trees are shown, some depicting different seasons, as are representations of farmed paddocks. A typical farmhouse surrounded by ploughed paddocks can be seen. The Murray River, including fish winds behind the moutain. As time moves on, the artwork will give a snapshot of Corryong as it was in the years post Black Summer.