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Embers of Empathy

Leading artists create artworks from charred bushfire embers to support Red Cross disaster relief

Monday April 21, 2014

Embers for Empathy
Charcoal portrait of Blue Mountains resident Jocelyn Seaman by Paul Ryan

The heritage listed Paramount building in Surry Hills recently played host to the launch of one of the most unusual art collections ever shown in Sydney, Embers of Empathy.

Using charcoal from the recent fires in the Blue Mountains, twelve of the State's leading artists created a stunning collection of works to be sold in an online auction to aid Red Cross relief and recovery work.

"The funds raised from the sale of the Embers of Empathy art collection will help us continue to train staff, aid workers and volunteers to be ready to respond as soon as disaster strikes, minimising loss of life, protecting household assets, providing psychological support and reconnecting families and loved ones," said Australian Red Cross CEO, Robert Tickner.

"I especially thank these magnificent Australian artists whose contribution reflects the wider commitment of the arts community to compassion and to humanitarian concerns over many years.

"Australian Red Cross has been responding to disasters for 100 years, and we rely on the generosity of around one million volunteers, members and donors who support our work in Australia," Robert Tickner said.

Embers of Empathy artists include Nicholas Harding, Paul Ryan, Suzanne Archer, Ron McBurnie, Anne Judell, Eloise Cato, James Blackwell, Sam Holt, Saif Almurayati, Jody Graham, Dean Mortensen and Sophie Cape.

One of the most prominent artists was Archibald Prize award-winner, Paul Ryan who created a stunning charcoal portrait of Blue Mountains resident Jocelyn Seaman who lost her home in the fires.

To watch a beautiful film encapsulating some of stories of the Embers of Empathy artists, to view the collection, or if it's not too late even place a bid, visit


Learn more about how you can support Red Cross' Disaster Relief and Recover work.