Esther Beaton


Xantho – Ltd Ed Fine Art Print by Esther Beaton


Fire-damaged grass tree (Xanthorrhoea resinosa) with new growth after bushfire. Jervis Bay, New South Wales

I was on assignment to photograph a feature on bushfire recovery for Australian Geographic magazine. As I stood in the middle of Royal National Park, surrounded by smouldering logs, thick ash and black embers, I wondered how I could convey a message of hope from all this devastation. 

And then I saw them. Only two days after the fires, the very first plants to push out new growth were the grass trees. The exposed tips had been scorched and singed but lower parts of the leaves had been protected inside the thick stem, and these were pushing upward with vigour. They were so clearly saying “after the darkest night, there is still life and hope”.

Weight 5 kg

Archival pigment on cotton rag


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