The Art of Fire
by Jimmy Pike
The Art of Fire is a little gem of science as well as art. It will appeal to anyone interested in Australian Indigenous art and traditional life.
Jimmy Pike grew up in the Great Sandy Desert, where he became familiar with fire, its uses and its dangers: knowledge and practice passed down through the generations.
He shares some of this knowledge with others through his minimalist drawings and compact, vivid explanations.
Release Date: April 2022
Backroom Press books can also be purchased at several Broome outlets.
Praise for The Art of Fire:
A gem of a little book, exquisitely illustrated and achingly relevant to a world still lacking deep understanding of nature and its forces. Jimmy Pike understood fire because he observed it closely, lived its consequences, harnessed its bounty. He had a rich Walmajarri vocabulary to describe its different forms and effects. Words like Lirramunu: a big hunting fire, lit by two people or Nyirirr: island of unburnt grass and trees missed by the fire. Or Kungkala, meaning bush matches, and Minjurn: animals found dead or injured after a fire. The vocabulary around fire in non-Indigenous Australia seems pale, even dangerously inadequate, by contrast.Jimmy Pike: The Art of Fire is a sharp reminder that other knowledge must be heeded and turned into care for Country. And there’s sheer pleasure in viewing Pike’s cheeky image of husband and wife snuggled round a camp fire, or reading that if a fire is burning at night, owls will be keenly watching animals fleeing the flames into the ‘safety’ of the dark.