We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Montgomery Coombs The black Christmas

Work by Montgomery Coombs
Work by Montgomery Coombs
Work by Montgomery Coombs
Work by Montgomery Coombs

As a kid I tried to imagine the reindeer, sleds and snow ploughs of a northern Christmas. We have replaced them with kangaroos, fire trucks and Santa surfing. Funny but farcical. Dreamy but disappointing. This last Christmas, my dream of snow came real. But it was black ash falling on beaches. The black Christmas explores my bittersweet pessimism, telling of a kid’s fantasy and maturity colliding in reality. I find the irony in the celebration’s retranslation in the Australian context and warn how Christmas can be related to the bushfire disasters around it. Black snow falling will define Australia’s Christmases.

Influencing artists:
Christophe Chabouté
Vincent van Gogh
Katsuhiro Otomo
Hirohiko Araki

Watch a video presentation from Montgomery Coombs. Length: 6 mins 23 secs.


Kirrawee High School



HSC year