Let it all burn in a whisper
In this large flame installation, an engorged fire sits atop of a ceramic log, split open and oozing a crackling lava-like glaze. The fire devours hand-written letters, which contradictorily become preserved as clay tablets in the alchemy of kiln-fired ceramics. A jagged, metallic black poker stick waits in front of the fire, providing a lingering sense of threat and action. Meanwhile, the fire is flocked with velvety rayon, softening its sense of danger with the comfort of a stuffed animal or a warm scarf. In the destruction and preservation of the letters, one senses the emotional terror of being vulnerable, of secret divulgences, of hiding something personal, and of regret. This is a shrine to wanting to let go while never being able to.
Let it all burn in a whisper (details), 2021. Ceramic, glaze, lava glaze, flock. 24 x 18 x 14 inches.
This series is composed of individual sculptures made of ceramic, resin, and spray paint which capture a still moment of what is a forever moving and illusive combination of light and heat. These works were made in the village of Zhujiajiao, China as part of the Untitled Space Residency in 2019. They were shown in the exhibition Elements. They are a response to the surroundings of Zhujiajiao as a historic water town and the ever-present cold of Shanghai's winters.
Flames (Zhujiajiao) and Fence, 2019. Ceramic, resin, spray paint.
A series of terrazzo flames reduce the dynamic and flickering forms of fire to a flat shape representing its duality: fire as both powerful and mesmerising, potentially destructive but essential for life. Transferred into symbolic form, the flame-as-sculpture is castrated, lacking this essence of light and warmth. In a related sense, the works symbolise the duality of fire in language, where it finds its way into idioms for praise (“on fire”) and cursing (“burn in hell”).