ASHES, ASHES

 

Amidst the aftermath of a devastating house fire, this collection of apocalyptic, amorphous and disorienting vignettes portray the psychology of despair, but also the spirit of friendship and never leaving a wounded soldier behind; and the ability to rise up after falling down.  I employ an ambiguous alchemy of photography, digital media, paint and found objects to blur the lines between reality and memory, trauma and rebirth, while finding beauty amidst soot, debris and charred refuse. Metal was chosen as the support for the small works, for its visual beauty but also its symbolic imperviousness to fire.  Many of the artwork titles reference vintage song lyrics, in homage to nostalgia and the family whose house was destroyed.  

 

Using an outdated iPhone camera in tandem with a high quality Canon DSL, I took over 400 on-site photographs - either intentionally grainy or clear.  I captured a wide range of phenomena, from the wilted form of a melted lamp shade, to remnants of a tic tac toe game that workmen must have scrawled into an ashen wall.  These images inspired surreal compositions, calibrated to varying degrees of fantasy.  Eerie yet beautiful textures, patterns and colors describe but also transcend the destruction, thus suggesting hope born of sorrow.