Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week 18: The Slow Burn

Conjoined--being, coming or brought together so as to meet, touch, overlap, or unite. 

Of course the first piece I started working on for Shadow Circus is a project that I have had in the back of my mind for a long time.  I have been mesmerized by images of conjoined twins and thought they would be the perfect metaphor for exploring the light and shadow side of life's journey in this collection.  The good and evil; the light and dark; the creation and destruction.  So often that is how we want to classify the world and our choices in it.  

However, the more I worked on this piece the more the figures began to influence each other.  It became impossible to maintain a strict dichotomy.  The ecstasy of the "creation" figure began to take on tones of fear and uncertainty while the "destruction" figure softened to convey hope and playful potential.  Instead of becoming polar opposites they conjoined to form an infinite loop of creation and destruction and the endless possibilities in each. 

I had been playing with the idea of fire as a symbol, but was unsure of the role it would play.  As I continued the labor intensive process of building this large piece the fire transformed into candle flames.   We light a candle and say a prayer.  We light a candle and make a wish.  Prayers, wishes, hopes, fears, dreams, etc. are all tied to flames that we ignite and extinguish.  And our own mortal wax slowly melts away in our pursuit of life.  

This continuous cycle is such a slow burn and I usually don't recognize how beautifully intertwined these potentials are in my life.  I'm so thankful this process has reminded me of the complexity of light and shadow as I go forward with this collection.  "The Slow Burn" has yet to go into the kiln and transform through flames once again.  What will happen?  How will it change?  Will it survive?  I'll light a candle and say a prayer.