A New Exhibition Is Using Charcoal From The Bushfires To Raise Funds For The Recovery Effort

"It will be a celebration of what creativity can create from a problem."

RISE bushfire exhibition

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After a summer from hell, bushfire charcoal is one thing Australia isn’t in short supply of.

But rather than let it remain as a symbol of what we’ve lost, a group of artists are using it to create something new for the benefit of the community.

More than 100 global artists will use charcoal as the medium for a new exhibition called RISE, which will raise money for bushfire relief charities.

RISE  co-founder Luca Ionescu said the idea for the exhibition came from the feeling of helplessness after bushfire smoke blanketed Sydney on and off for months.

RISE exhibition bushfire relief

He and his co-founder Matty Burton bought together artists who are all cultural influencers in some way, including some of the most collectable artists in the world.

“Every artist in the show affects culture. From people who started street art in the US, the early days of hip hop, the skate scene in California to Australia’s own surfing counterculture,” Matty said.

“These artists are huge names. And they are alongside up and comers who are creating new culture right now, in music, media, fashion, food, and every other kind of medium.

“On the night it will be a celebration of what creativity can create from a problem.”

RISE Exhibition bushfire relief

Featured artists include Lee Quiñones, the “godfather of graffiti” from Brooklyn; Mr Brainwash, the protagonists from Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop; Archibald Prize winner Craig Ruddy; contemporary Indigenous artist Otis Hope Carey; and controversial mural painter Scott Marsh.

Charcoal for the exhibition was collected from a handful of bushfire-affected areas that were cleared for safe entry.

The online exhibition will hold an opening show at Sydney’s Carriageworks Bay 25 on March 12. Art can be purchased at

RISE Exhibition bushfire relief

RISE will also fundraise by charging note entry on the door, selling artist merchandise, holding an online silent auction, setting up roaming donation terminals, and putting on a sausage sizzle with donated drinks. Even the empty beer cans will be recycled for cash.

All proceeds will be donated to local bushfire relief charities including the RFS, Wildlife Victoria, BlazeAid, WIRES, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, Wildlife Victoria and Kangaroo Island Wildlife Fund.

Feature image via Ella Grace Lister/ Mr Brainwash/ Brooklyn Wheelan.