When fire tore through Steve Salo’s studio in Torquay he was devastated. Inside the artist’s studio were approximately 70 of his paintings, and 80 drawings and sketchbooks, some of which he had treasured since a child. Every single one was destroyed. All of his art materials and tools were obliterated along with reference books and a cherished drawing case from his childhood. The blaze consumed everything, a lifetime of irreplaceable work reduced to ashes.
“I find it quite hard to talk about it now. The best thing for me is to put it behind me and not ponder over it,” Steve says, clearly still coming to terms with the emotional impact of the disaster that occurred nearly a year ago.
After the fire Steve says it felt like time stood still, “almost like a surreal dream”. He was overcome with confusion, disbelief and grief. For the next couple of months Steve had no desire to paint, unable to motivate himself to even pick up a paintbrush. Eventually, however, the urge to create returned and he began to paint, not with brushes but with his fingers. It was an important step in the healing process.