Mixed media, 24 x 24 x 12 inches. Collection of the artist.
One of the happiest memories of my youth is of a camping trip with my parents. What I remember most clearly, was the fire. My father built it. I recall how he gathered granite stones into a tight circle and placed a compact ball of dry moss in the center of the circle. A tiny teepee of dry twigs and sticks was carefully built over the ball of moss and a wooden match, struck on the granite, was held to it. Flames leapt through the tiny teepee, quickly consuming the structure. As larger and larger sticks were fed into the blaze, the fire grew in intensity; rising, popping and eventually softening, slumping into a heap of glowing embers. I remember the warmth that I felt.
The Fire is a mixed media installation that includes a fire pit, forever burning without consuming, preserved in perpetuity elevated on a plinth and covered with a vitrine, and a photograph of a circa 1950s family gathered around the campfire set in a Disneyesque tableau, complete with friendly forest creatures. The Fire explores how memory mutates over time and how fantasy will often mix with reality.