A photographic exhibition of burning houses and dead flowers has opened in Sydney -- the work of COFA Dean, Professor Ian Howard.

The two sets of work in the exhibition, Portrait & Landscape, are in sharp contrast. One group of photos shows an explosion of fire within the familiarity of home and the second shows the stillness of dead and dried out flora.

"Hopefully people will recognise aspects of such destruction and loss in their own lives," says Professor Howard.

The dried flowers reference the artistic tradition of "still life" or more specifically the French translation - 'nature morte'.

"I wanted to show the contradictions here, the beauty and the longevity of things that are dead," he says.

"The title Portrait & Landscape refers to the convention within the visual arts of describing the orientation of a picture. Collapsing or overlapping these terms implies that landscape might provide a portrait, not so much of individuals, but more generally, a picture of human experience."

The 95 images are photographs originating from collected materials that Professor Howard has "intuitively maintained" for up to a decade.

The exhibition is on at the Watters Gallery until 19 March.

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW media, 9385 1583.