Fireworks! is an exhibition about burning and wanting to burn. It consolidates issues of sacrifice and letting go, it's a spontaneous eruption to desecrate, to take it all away, to see what's left, to extinguish and to ultimately make room for regeneration and growth.
There is an aspect to my investigations of fire that is purely documentary, vaguely Promethean even. What I’ve stolen are years worth of photos and a very real sense that fire releases:
Photos, however, are frozen moments of fire and can’t in any real or sensory way convey heat except as an abstract concept; they lack the movement, chaos and sense of danger, the unpredictability and flow, the density and debris of the smoke, dirt and ash, the tension in the air, the burning of hair, the crackle and the pop, the hot flush the gold rush and the magic otherworldly predatory circling of owls… fire is transient and a depiction of fire always less so.
Fire possesses its own emotional connotations, meanings and symbols that will trigger very subjective responses from each viewer. Photos of fire lack any real sign of assimilation, digestion or understanding on the part of the artist. Which is not to say there is no room for intellectualisation I just find this more retrospective. Quite simply put there is a world of difference between conceptualism and sensualism and what I want an audience to experience is a feeling.
It is for this reason that I return to the tactile. I’m not suggesting this captures fire any better but it elaborates the process and contains my emotion.
A Fireworks! Fire is a roaring, spitting, ferocious, all consuming fire using media such as bitumen, fiberglass, wax crayon, acrylic and oil paint, various epoxies, glues, contact adhesive, wood glue, creosote, paraffin, petrol and a spark. They are, above all, experiments in an attempt to explore the nature of fire and how I could capture its diversity.
Drawing on the associations between the life of fire and the restlessness of life. Restlessness is incontentness, is a state of tension, is an intent to move away from, it implies movement but is essentially pre-action. Without release restlessness multiplies, friction builds….and in this sense Fireworks! Are born from restlessness and the desire for change.
The challenge, for me, in depicting fire is one of implying this movement along with emphasizing and trusting the spontaneity of the process, of discovering the journey and actually trying to burn i.e. about the process, about heat and sweat.
I’m realizing now that what fire implies in terms of its nature, spiritual and symbolic sense is so much more than is immediately visible or consciously evident. Fire burns in many forms and in order to comprehend its significance, one needs to understand/experience fire as destruction, as transmutation and as regeneration; as violence and as reassurance.
We can't take all our history with us on the journey, only that which serves us well. It is up to us to take the resources and use the energy as fuel for the future vision, in the moment.
The works are about being in the moment about feeling…any number of stimuli, frustrations, incidents, memories. When you are in that moment, not contrived but primary reflect without explaining why or analysing It’s not a fact of data so much as a quality of interpretation. It's light it’s heat it breathes it eats is, like love an exquisite pain both in euphoria and insecurity is a feeling no matter what an emotion can’t be complacent a sense of aliveness that activates the ordinary What fire do you put in it remains hence the process my emotion and my process
My work is my way of relating to the world. I understand the world by making tactile sense of it. It may take me longer to read a thousand words than most but I have devised short cuts and a means of association and appropriation that allow me to understand my work, myself and the world I/we live in against how I believed it to be, and compared to how things have changed, gained more meaning. The specific meaning of a work of art changes and depends on who is looking at it and when or what obstacles are impending human progress at the time.
strong inherent subjective meanings can be seen as my way of looking at them and understanding and without pedantically and consciously elaborating their meaning for me personally leave it up to the viewer to relate my way of looking to there own. ones deepest and most personal responses to fire are unconscious, even primordial.
focused fire in the context of the landscape and are predominantly monotonal the “restless” panels …are up close and personal, abstract in terms of them being out of focus, of you being within and in that sense I think they are more than fire, they're meditative. Trapped in a house in a burning landscape with no escape except yearning