On the edge of a dramatic escarpment in the heart of Dharug Country, at a place known as Blackheath in NSW, grows a life-affirming forest of waratahs. These incredibly resilient native flowers grow high above the recently burned ground at the beautiful home of my friend, fashion designer Jenny Kee. For 15 or 16 years, I’ve sporadically visited her superb forest of trees that grow like lanterns in and against the Blue Mountains bush. In defiance of or perhaps due to the fierce fires that engulfed this fragile ecosystem in 2020, these triumphant beauties rise phoenix-like from the seemingly barren sandstone and give great heart not only to the human inhabitants, but also the bird and insect life in need of a good feed of nectar.
Luke Sciberras, 2021