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Mid Stories is a multi-artform exhibition exploring the natural forest regeneration following the Black Summer fires in the Snowy Valleys and Upper Murray region. The works dissect and interpret the destruction, regeneration and alternate landscapes through various artforms including photography, video, solargraphy, augmented reality and installation.

  • Date: 4/03/2023 05:00 PM - 2/04/2023 03:00 PM
  • Location: Batlow NSW, Australia (Map)
  • More Info: 14-16 Pioneer St


The exhibition reveals just some of the stories currently unfolding as the landscape and community heal.

Using data and extensive field visits, the artists present these stories whilst the midstory dominates the surrounding forests; sentinels on guard whilst the canopy prepares to return. 

Both Vanessa Keenan and Nat Ord have lived experience with bushfires. Along with her family, Vanessa sheltered in a bunker in the Maragle Valley for three hours during the Dunn’s Road Fire on New Year’s Eve 2019 with her experience covered by international media. Along with post graduate qualifications in natural resource management, Nat worked as a professional Forest Firefighter in the early 2000’s and battled the 2003 fires that engulfed the region.

On the first anniversary of the fires, Vanessa curated Arbour Festival which was a creative recovery project that ran over 50 days, the same length of time that the fire burned.

“This exhibition is the next step in my three years of examining the impacts of the fires on our landscape and communities through an artistic lens. As anyone impacted by the fires knows, the experience doesn’t ever leave you but rather shape you into the future.” Vanessa said.

Nat added “Being able to bring my experience as an ecologist and artist together, observing the power of both ecological and social recovery is a privilege. It never ceases to surprise me how resilient the environment and communities are, despite such adversity.”

Mid Stories doesn’t end at the close of the exhibition in Batlow with the work ongoing and a larger exhibition is scheduled for exhibition at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery in September.

Mid Stories is on exhibition at b:Atelier, 14-16 Pioneer Street, Batlow NSW from 4-26 March. B:Atelier is open 11am – 3pm weekends.


OPENING EVENT: 5pm Saturday 4 March 2023 at b:Atelier



This project is supported by the Country Arts Support Program, administered by Eastern Riverina Arts on behalf of the NSW Government.




Vanessa Keenan: 0418 445 131 or

Nat Ord: 0468 394 808 or


For more info regarding B:Atelier contact Robyn Sweeney on 0448 477 661




Nat Ord + Vanessa Keenan

Nat and Vanessa each bring twenty years experience in the arts to their collaborative practice.

Both are trained professional photographers. Vanessa is also an experienced arts & cultural manager and has curated several exhibitions as well as a large-scale festival. Nat is an award-winning fine art photographer and sculptor working across a variety of media. She is a past finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize and has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and internationally.

Vanessa is an Arts & Cultural Consultant specialising in public art, cultural planning and museums. She has curated several exhibitions, is a 2020 Regional Arts Australia Fellow, former General Manager at HotHouse Theatre, former Regional Arts Development Officer (RADO), former professional photographer for Kodak and The Border Mail and was curator of Arbour Festival.