Opening the gates of hell: bushfire paintings donated to council
 Baw Baw News   By // 20:58, Saturday 26 January 2013

murphy harrington phil henshall into the gates of hell warragul citizen by william kulich

AWARD-winning Icy Creek artist Phil Henshall has donated two paintings depicting the devastation of the Black Saturday bushfires to the Baw Baw Shire Council.

Image: (Left to right) Cr Gerard Murphy and Cr Bill Harrington with Mr Henshall’s paintings at Wednesday’s Baw Baw Shire Council meeting.


Photo by William Kulich.

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The paintings, titled “Into the gates of Hell… 1 & 2”, depict the fire that burnt the eastern end of the Bunyip State Park in 2009.

On accepting the paintings into Baw Baw’s collections at Wednesday’s council meeting, Warragul ward councillor Gerard Murphy said Mr Henshall had tried to show the true devastation of the fire.


“He tried to look into the gates of hell,” Cr Murphy said.

“On behalf of the Baw Baw Shire Council, we thank Phil for his kindful donation.

“We gratefully accept it and [the paintings] will be shown.”

Mr Henshall said in a media release the significance of the fires made it important the paintings were in the council’s collection.

“The Black Saturday fires were, and are, a significant part of the experience and history of the Baw Baw Shire,” Mr Henshall said.

“I thought it appropriate that the two paintings used in the booklet be offered to the shire for its permanent collection.

The paintings are set in the Neerim district.

“At the eastern end of the Bunyip State Park sit two hills joined by a saddle and overlooking the green discipline of the Neerim district – Hell’s Gate South and Hell’s Gate North,” Mr Henshall said.


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