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'OUT of the ASHES' : Rod Hayes

The recent bushfires, and now Covid-19, have brought a major impact to the South East. From the ashes of the fires that destroyed so much of our region there has also come warmth, generosity and a collective community spirit that comes from so many sharing the same traumas and emotions. Denise Straty was one of the many recovery personnel called into the region after the fires. She saw for herself the impact and she learnt of the lives of those affected. By way of a meeting with Amanda, of Amanda's at Mogo, Denise learnt of the impact to the many South East artists and of their responses by way of art to the bushfires. Wanting to do what she could for those she met she returned to Sydney with an idea. To hold an ‘Out of the Ashes’ exhibition next month at The Wellington Gallery – a stunningly chic warehouse space in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Waterloo.

Gallery owners Mark and Ray had generously offered the use of their exquisite venue and kindly waived any commission so that the full proceeds of each art sale would flow through to the participating South Coast artists.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, they have had to put the dream of a physical exhibition on hold for the moment, but the good news is they’ve created the exhibition as a Facebook e-gallery where they invite visitors to read artists’ posts describing their individual tales of survival during the unprecedented deadly fire season and view their spectacular artworks. The artists profiled in this Beagle series is Rod Hayes Rod Hayes has lived on his 100 acre block at the top of the mountain for 10 He lives a life embedded in a diverse community of the Southern Shoalhaven, sharing his skills and creativity wildly. He hosts refugees, dinner parties and music nights, and up until the fire which took his home, studio, workshop and shed, he hosted his youngest daughter and her 9 month old child in spaces he created for their use in his house.

One of the first things Rod will rebuild is his Artist’s Studio. As an artist, Rod seeks to make sense of this terrible experience through his creativity. Since the fire he has produced a series of lino cuts related to the fire. He has also been drawing the coast of Shoalhaven.

Lino cut and watercolour pencil

220 mm x 220 mm $300

130 mm x 130 mm $200 The coastal drawings below are examples of many watercolours that I have done over recent times. The coast where I drew them was also destroyed by the Currowan Fire.


220 mm x 220 mm


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