As flames engulfed the continent over the past few months – destroying more than twenty percent of Australia’s forests – people all over the world united to combat the catastrophe. Among the many communities who are rallying together to support the victims of this season’s unprecedented bushfires, the artworld is playing its part.

The HOME Bushfire Relief Art Auction Fundraiser on Wednesday 12 February at National Art School raised over $220,000, with over 1,000 members of the arts community in attendance. The money raised will be donated to Climate Council, Firesticks Alliance and WWF-Australia, selected for their current and future response to the bushfires and Australia’s climate future.

Some of the top works sold include pieces by Mike Parr, Caroline Rothwell, Jonny Niesche, Jude Rae, Guy Maestri, Alex Seton and Abdul Abdullah. Other artists involved include Tony Albert, Del Kathryn Barton, Nell, Joan Ross,  Consuelo Cavaniglia, Sarah Contos, Jenny Kee, Linda Jackson, Janet Laurence, Fiona Lowry, Callum Morton, Jason Phu, Tom Polo, Ben Quilty, Reko Rennie, Luke Sciberras, Laura Jones, Lara Merrett, Hiromi Tango, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Jasper Knight and early career artists including Kirtika Kain, Rae Begley, Honey Long and Prue Stent, Samuel Hodge and Emily Parsons-Lord.

Other art initiatives that have contributed to the bushfire appeal include Arthouse Gallery’s ‘Art Takes Action!’ auction, which raided $102,000; the Art Fights Fire fundraiser organised by The Design Files – which raised over $160,000 – and the Clay for Australia online auction, where 477 artists from 30 countries donated 482 ceramic works, raising over $49,000.

At a time when the crisis of climate change can no longer be ignored and the fate of the natural world balances feebly in humanity’s hands, solidarity has shown itself to be the best motivator and facilitator of change.

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