Igniting light on 'The Fire Series'

What is this "Fire Series" business all about, are you a pyromaniac?

No, no. it's merely an intriguing way to depict this alchemical element in a symbolic way which is what Garnet & Ashes is inspired by; processes of transformation and cycles in nature. The idea recognizes and emphasizes the essential importance of experiences and process rather than fixating on a starting point and end point. Juxtaposing vintage photographs honours the past, unifying it with the current moment, and offers a symbolic gateway to new beginnings –  a reminder that we are always in the state of becoming. Pairing photo transfers with paint creates a surreal feel that requests the viewer question varying realities we create by our own personal perceptions. 

But why fire specifically?

The fire in each piece represents "the moment", whether it be the beginning, the in between, or the end. It insists that we pay attention at any given time, that beginnings are not beginnings and ends are not ends, but rather we are over-lapping experiences that lead to new opportunities and adventures. Even when we are on our knees, we are on a path leading us to the next chapter. Perhaps landing on our knees in one moment prevents us from slaughter up ahead. The fire represents an ember; the light and passion we have access to at any time if we reach inwardly and take hold of it. You may be familiar with this little diddy: "this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine". I acknowledge that darkness exists in all of us; one cannot have light without dark after all. We need to embrace it and integrate it to actualize our full inner fire. It requires great balance, if we hang on to any one thing for too long, we start getting fixated. Fire doesn't allow us to hang on. It reminds us of how quickly things can change and that is the only assurance we have in this life. 

What on earth is the meaning of 'Garnet & Ashes' anyway?

Garnet & Ashes is inspired by cycles. It is in our nature to resist change. It's as though we completely forget how change invites as yet unforeseen treasure, because we mistakenly let fear of the unknown stop us; forgetting to let go, we imprison ourselves by our own self-imposed limitations, illusions and fears. This can be like a type of limbo. This is where the symbolism of creating gemstones from ashes comes in. We can still choose to get up and continue when life 'burns' us. It is a choice to lay in a heap of ashes or get up and shine. It may not be the same path we started on, but it will be a continuation of a great adventure if we choose to let it be. Herstory. History.  We are the story that never ends, a phoenix rising from the ashes from one chapter to the next. 




Further sparks:

"You don’t ask what a dance means, you enjoy it. You don’t ask what the world means, you enjoy it. You don’t ask what you mean, you enjoy yourself; or at least, so you do when you are up to snuff.

"But to enjoy the world requires something more than mere good health and good spirits; for this world, as we all now surely know, is horrendous. 'All life,' said the Buddha, 'is sorrowful'; and so, indeed, it is. Life consuming life: that is the essence of its being, which is forever a becoming. 'The world,' said the Buddha, 'is an ever-burning fire.' And so it is. And that is what one has to affirm, with a yea! a dance! a knowing, solemn, stately dance of the mystic bliss beyond pain that is at the heart of every mythic rite.”

Joseph Campbell, Myths to Live By

"I don't feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning. If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end, do you think that you would have the courage to write it? What is true for writing and for a love relationship is true also for life. The game is worthwhile insofar as we don't know what will be the end. My field is the history of thought. Man is a thinking being." 

--from "Truth, Power, Self : An Interview with Michel Foucault" (1982)