After the series of devastating wildfires throughout the Unites States last summer, woodworking changed into something darker in spirit for me; the material itself is tinder for conflagration. This particular work is constructed of different types of plywood, an incredibly strong and economic media that has an innate feeling of the incomplete as it is rarely used in isolation. The veneer that provides the surface appearance of a more luxurious wood, the visible process of manufacturing raw pine plywood, and the delicate striping on the edge of each form combine to give a deep aesthetic pleasure. These aspects of beauty and irony mesh with the underlying idea of the work, the character of worth.
Conceptually Bonfire is linked to questions of value. The objects within the pile are a mixture of the precious and the mundane. Function and ornament serve diverse purposes depending on the need and motivation of the user. Rare items have both an inherent status and a connection to history while everyday things are measured by what and how well a purpose they serve. With the dawning failure of austerity plans and stimulus packages, problems remain in defining imperative requirements for people, businesses, and governments. I believe this heap of objects connects to these questions on a basic level, such as deciding a household budget, managing the sale of superfluous items, and what to save when an emergency arises in a fiery tornado.
The Front, New Orleans, Louisiana
Living Arts, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California