- Title: A very burnt Christmas: bushfire-tree erected in Sydney
- Date: 18th December 2019
- Summary: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (DECEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) BURNT CHRISTMAS TREE WITH PRESENTS AT BASE VARIOUS OF BURNT BRANCHES AND BURNT DEBRIS FROM BUSHFIRES PRESENT AT BASE OF TREE / INSTALLATION ARTIST JAMES DIVE DUSTING OFF PRESENT AND LOOKING AT TREE DIVE LOOKING AT TREE BURNT DEBRIS FROM BUSHFIRES (SOUNDBITE) (English) BURNT CHRISTMAS TREE INSTALLATION ARTIST JAMES DIVE, SAYING: "So the idea was to create a burnt Christmas tree. So, the idea then became, lets go and get the real stuff. The timbers, the burnt items, everything out there from the bushfire districts and create a Christmas tree in the middle of the city and the idea was to surround the bottom of the tree with cheerful presents because I didn't want this work to be all doom and gloom. I think this is about us just helping each other and trying to make someone else's Christmas just slightly better." PRESENTS UNDER TREE (SOUNDBITE) (English) BURNT CHRISTMAS TREE INSTALLATION ARTIST JAMES DIVE, SAYING: "Going out there was probably the most impactful part of this whole process. I think you see it on the news. You see it in the papers. But, really going out there, I came back with sort of two impressions. One, was the scale of it. It really does hit you. The silence of it. No birds, everything's just left. But then, I suppose the other part too was seeing the resilience, I mean, seeing the Australian bush already bouncing back. Like seed pods, everything opening up. So, you really came back with mixed feelings." PERSON LOOKING AT TREE PEOPLE WALKING BEHIND TREE (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN VISITOR, ANGELA, SAYING: "It's an incredible artistic piece and I think an important symbol of just the crisis that a lot of the country's facing. I wanted to see it and I'm glad a lot of people will. It'll bring the severity of all of this to home. I could have done without the presents, I'm not sure what that does or sort of takes away I think from the meaning of what we are trying to remember." (SOUNDBITE) (English) SYDNEYSIDER, JULIE REYNOLDS, SAYING: "Well, it was striking because we've seen so many regular Christmas trees in the city and then to come and see this. This is really what this Christmas is about, I think in Sydney and across Australia." PERSON TAKING PHOTO OF TREE
- Embargoed: 1st January 2020 09:29
- Keywords: Australia Christmas burnt bushfires climate change debris fire
- Location: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- City: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- Country: Australia
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Wildfires/Forest Fires
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAI3TXJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A burnt Christmas tree made from charred logs and other bushfire remnants has been set up in Sydney's central business district in a poignant reminder of the deadly bushfires that have ravaged much of Australia.
The installation, made of singed tree limbs, a scorched bicycle, a ruined fire alarm and other household debris left behind by the life-threatening fires, is surrounded by Christmas presents wrapped in glittery red, silver and gold papers.
Artist James Dive said the artwork was a symbol of the shadow that bushfires have cast over the festive season as well as the resilience of Australian communities.
"The idea was to create a burnt Christmas tree. So, the idea then became, lets go and get the real stuff. The timbers, the burnt items, everything out there from the bushfire districts and create a Christmas tree in the middle of the city," Dive told Reuters.
The installation, created in partnership with the Red Cross and the City of Sydney, is on display until Thursday (December 19).
As many as six people have died in the state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital city, in the current bushfires with more than 700 home destroyed and nearly 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of land burnt.
Fire authorities in NSW said on Wednesday (December 18) there were 99 fires still burning, half of which were not contained.
(Production: Jill Gralow, Cordelia Hsu
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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