|Title||A Burning Question|
|Artist / Creator||Sara Bowen|
|Place of Publication||Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia|
|Number of Images||5 pop-up cut-outs over 3 double-spread pages|
|Image Process||Collograph Print|
|Structure / Binding||Accordion binding with slip cover|
|Paper Stock||Collograph print on 300gsm Somerset Satin etching paper; pop-ups and cover from Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper in black and grey; white card slip box base with Canson Mi-Teintes wrap cover; 80gsm laid writing paper colophon|
|Typography||14pt Poor Richard typeface, inkjet printed|
|Number of Pages||3 internal double-spread pages|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||Closed: 4 x 6.6 x .75 inches (10cm x 17cm x 2cm); Open: 8 x 6.6 x .75 inches (20cm x 17cm x 2cm)|
|Edition Size||Edition of 12 plus Artists’ Proof|
|Box / Wrapper||The book comes with an integral cover in the form of a matchbook with strike papers and a printed internal wrap colophon.|
|Signed & Numbered||Yes|
The book is both a question and an answer: what starts bush fires? Poor land management, natural occurrences such as lightening strikes, and man-made situations such as falling power poles or carelessly discarded matches: they all cause bush fires, resulting in damaged property, destroyed homes and wrecked lives. This book was inspired by Tom Griffith’s Forests of Ash. I was interested in doing something about bush fires, which terrify me. The text on the wrapper colophon is taken from the Australian Royal Commission investigation into the 1939 bush fires in the state of Victoria—text so beautifully and movingly written by Judge LEB Stretton that extracts were used in English exams in Victoria until quite recently. Stretton was the first white Australian to identify that European patterns of land management increased the frequency and ferocity of the fires: Indigenous Australians used the land differently, deliberately setting smaller fires to burn off the forest fuel so that when the natural bush fires came they weren’t as dangerous.
Artist BioSara Bowen was born in the United Kingdom and moved to the north coast of New South Wales, on the eastern seaboard of Australia, in 2006 with her family. An artist and printmaker, Sara now lives and works from a rural block overlooking the sea, where they have built an environmentally-friendly off-the-grid house and studio, sharing the space with an old dog, assorted chickens and lots of native wildlife. Sara teaches printmaking and bookbinding in her studio and at a local further education college. Her work is collected by institutions and private collectors in Australia and Europe. A Burning Question has been acquired, along with other work, by the State Library of Queensland, for its collection of contemporary artists’ books.