House keys, part collection of approximately 25 bushfire affected items retrieved by the donor from his home in Kinglake in the aftermath of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires. These items represent all that remains of his home and possessions.
The donor commented on the keys: 'The keys were on my key ring. They include the house keys and a key to a steering wheel club lock. Looking at them now, one of them might have been a key to a case or a pad lock. I can't really remember now. I kept the keys because they reminded me of my home that I no longer had. The keys opened locks to doors that no longer existed. The doors, windows, interior walls and doors were all gone after the fires went through. I kept the keys because I just couldn't contemplate letting go of them'.
The donor had purchased his home in 2003 and two weeks prior to Black Saturday had become engaged to be married. The collection of burnt artefacts that the donor retrieved represent a range of storylines. Remnants of his hobbies and interests (photography, coin collecting, astronomy, computers), his family history (the piano was previously owned by his grandmother and had survived a bushfire that had threatened Walhalla). Curious and paradoxical examples of how fire impacts homes and possessions: the unharmed tennis ball was the first item the donor found amongst his destroyed belongings, the splash of melted glass covering the surface of the ceramic mug, the unharmed ceramic bowl, the set of house keys. The collection includes video footage of the donor when he first returned to his property following Black Saturday and his emotional response to what he found there.
These items contribute to the Victorian Bushfires Collection, and complement those stories and artefacts that document the impact of the bushfire on Kinglake. The Victorian Bushfires Collection was established following Black Saturday and includes a multi-disciplinary collection of artefacts, images and stories that record the experience and impact of bushfires across Victoria's landscape, ecology and history.
Seven house keys.
Type of item