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ogoh ogoh burning

dark mofo 2019

mass public ritual
Dark Mofo, nipaluna/Hobart

Firecracker Willow
Fire Artist: Alex Podger


Fears are written and purged, fed to the Ogoh Ogoh - a demon effigy derived from a Balinese Hindu community purification ritual and crafted by Balinese artists. On the final day, it is dragged through the streets and hoisted onto the pyre; a giant weeping willow , with two hundred thousand firecracker leaves. 

Willows hold ancient roots in mourning and death. Firecrackers were the first fireworks created - their purpose to scare away demons - and each explosion represents a species going extinct in the last two years, visualised as an explosion instead of silence. 

The flames burn our fears, on the shortest day of the year.  



dark mofo 2021

contemporary ritual 

Dark Mofo, nipaluna/Hobart

Artist: Alex Podger


Bear your loved one’s ashes to the river where they are placed inside a handcrafted firework. Then launched into the night sky, punctuating the dark with a blazing reminder that all lives burn bright, before returning to the night.


June 16 - 20, 2021 
nipaluna / Hobart Waterfront, Tasmania


We acknowledge the power of timtumili minanya (Derwent River) and the role it plays in the lives and culture of the Palawa People. 


The Muwinina (Mu-wi-nee-na) People occupied the nipaluna/Hobart side of the river, and the Mumirimina (mu-ma-ri-mi-na) people occupied the Eastern Shore of timtumili minanya, who were a band of the Oyster Bay Nation (East Coast of Tasmania). 


It is understood that there are no living descendants of these groups alive today, and we acknowledge and share in the sorrow of this great loss. 


We acknowledge the significance of cremation in Palawa customs.

We offer our deep respects to the Palawa People, and Elders, and our thanks for the support and honour of together creating this ritual above timtumili minanya. 


Sovereignty was never ceded.

thence we came forth to rebehold the stars

dark mofo 2021

pyrotechnic symphony
Dark Mofo, nipaluna/Hobart

Artist: Alex Podger
Drummer: Gareth Brown 
Pyro Designer: Stuart Bensley (Howard & Sons)

Music Producer: Benjamin Yellowitz


Pyrotechnic spectacle. The longest night of the year.
An experimental percussion score transposed from London into a pyrotechnic symphony in nipaluna/Hobart, inspired by Dante’s Inferno and other concepts of chaos and crisis.

A collaboration between pyro artist Alex Podger, London-based drummer Gareth Brown, music producer Benjamin Yellowitz, and Stuart Bensley from Howard & Sons Fireworks.

June 21, 2021 
nipaluna / Hobart Waterfront, Tasmania

the winter fires + ogoh ogoh burning

dark mofo 2018

fire installation + public ritual
Dark Mofo, nipaluna/Hobart
Sun Cross + Fire Web
Fire Artist: Alex Podger


"These fires were burning all over the countryside, and each of them, even the most humble, had to be fed. The fire of the poet, of the teacher, of the carpenter. But among those living fires, how many closed windows there were, how many dead stars, fires that gave off no light for lack of nourishment" - Antoine De Saint Exupery

One thousand fire tins arranged as a crossroads, one entrance with three exits. 

On the final night, the Ogoh Ogoh was sacrificed on a twenty metre spider web of fire and smoke.

verdi: requiem

bleach festival 2019

goo-een/Gold Coast

Site Designer + Pyro Artist: Alex Podger


Flames leap from the wings in the Dies Irae, as we journey through anger and hurt to freedom. Two thousand red prayer candles light the orchestra, giant rusted candelabras burn with bright flames and firework stars burst cathartically in the sky above us. 

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