The silence left behind after a bushfire tears through is something the Shoalhaven knows well.
An exhibition at the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery captures this story of loss, grief and hope.
The Collector's Daughter by Beth Norling is on display until December 5.
It features an unconventional mix of sculpture, drawing and sound, with ash being a consistent medium.
Ms Norling hails from the Blue Mountains and her work focuses on the 2020 fires at Gospers Mountain where 80 per cent of the native habitat was lost.
The loss of her father several years ago inspired Ms Norling to see her surroundings differently.
"For weeks after my Dad died I saw the world as if I were seeing it through his eyes," Ms Norling said.
"My Dad was a painter in love with seeing beauty. In his absence, the world glowed with colour and light, and for the first time, I fully appreciated all the subtle ways he had taught me to see what was around me.
Years later while the Gospers Mountain fire burned, I picked a small vase off my window-sill, there in its absence was a silhouette marked out in the ash; at that moment I saw all the trees, the animals, and insects present in the ash.
"Looking deeply at the space left by the vase, my windowsill became both a world and a columbarium."
On a recent walk through the burnt-out landscape near her home, Ms Norling heard the saddest sound - nothing.
No birdsong, no flies, no insects humming, no leaves rustling gave her a stark reminder of what she was missing.
"In the absence of any sound, I keenly understood all that nature had freely offered, it was gone, and I am heartbroken."Beth Norling
"In the absence of any sound, I keenly understood all that nature had freely offered, it was gone, and I am heartbroken," Ms Norling said.
"I now understand my distraction, my narrow domestic vision of life, and the fear that holds me apart from looking deeply at what is an apocalypse in slow motion.
"If we run away from the profound loss that is to be looked at and felt, we have lost our pathway to redemption and will miss the chance to conserve and protect what remains.
"My work hopes to widen the gaze, to look deeply into the things that we instinctively may want to shy away from, so that we can collectively grieve and hopefully move forward with more compassion and wisdom."