The swan burning

By Angus Priest
Blazing Swan Build Crew

I first went to Burning Man in 2006 and again in 2008. I was hooked. Came back to Perth and started building gas flame effects and looking for a creative outlet. A group of us got together and started Blazing Swan. Wahoo. I finally had somewhere to let it all out. I helped build the first effigy and made 2 art cars. The following year the Swanhenge project was my baby. The next year I designed and ran the Temple build and then a rebuild of it for the Fremantle festival called Aspire. And in our fourth year I was brave/stupid enough to take on both the effigy and temple builds. 

Sadly last years Temple burn was pulled forward a day due to unsafe wind conditions for effigy burn. As we only had a licence for Saturday for the pyrotechnics it was decided to combine the two and the burn plan was changed. After two days of rain and several other reasons she just didn’t burn like she was supposed to.

The Temple is a quiet place to remember your life and the people you have shared it with. Traditionally it is the last burn. It’s a time to say goodby to our friends, family and anything else we love. Release by fire. You can leave a message, a note or an article in the temple to burn as well. The fire is slow to start and the people watching are quiet and thoughtful, and respectful.

The effigy however is a celebration. It’s loud, big and spectacular. It is what started it all back on a beach in San francisco. Renewal by fire. A blank canvas to start new things. The burn is a big party. 

Both are built by volunteers and all of our time is given for free. Work started on the projects not too long after last years Blaze and hundreds of hours are spent to create them. It would not be possible without them and their partners that support us all. It’s amazing to watch it burn when so much of your life and love has been put into it.

This year’s Swan is a little different, as she will be sitting on top of her cage, free to fly away in flames. And Tempelemental will be a triple stacked pyramid where you will be able to experience all of the elements just as you should with a elemental theme.

Cant wait for you all to see them both……….up in flames! (weather conditions permitting)


Angus and the build crew 2017