The heirlooms, photo and trinkets people keep are often strong reminders of who they are and the precious memories they have grown from.
When all of this was lost in a shed fire on Bella Dower’s family’s property earlier this year, the fine arts student decided to turn the rubble from the fire into something beautiful.
“This building that held all our photographs, 40 years of family heirlooms, artwork and clothing was all gone which was quite a harrowing experience and a really difficult thing to process,” Bella said.
Using the event as a source of material and inspiration, Bella designed a range of beautiful pins and brooches from debris from the fire which were both artistically unique and explored the importance of memories in people’s lives.
“The project was a really strong validation of the importance of objects and memory,” Bella said.
Inspired by her artist mother, who has also been studying at the University of Tasmania and will graduating alongside her daughter this week, Bella said she had long known she wanted to be an artist.
“I’d always known what I wanted to be from a young age,” she said.
“It’s inherent to me, my Mum’s an artist I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
While she is both nervous and excited about graduation, Bella said the support and guidance at the University’s Fine Arts School would be something she would miss as she forged her own way to establish her profile as full-time artist.
“Being at the art school has been an incredible experience for me,” she said.
“It’s an extremely nurturing environment and that close proximity with your tutors and supervisors and instant feedback is fantastic- and something you don’t get at bigger Universities.”
“I’ve had a really strong experience at UTAS.”
Bella will graduate with Fine Arts with First Class Honours in Hobart, tonight (20 December).
To find out more about Bella’s story and art go to: