The ma candle is made from 3 components, a concrete base, a candle and a triangular prism.
The prism, acts as a lens, by which from a certain angle we can see the twin image of its ephemeral neighbour.
The candle, for which the other 2 elements exist, is the most delicate and temporary of the three, its own existence mirrored and its lifespan documented by the prism that sits opposite.
We know as the candle burns it will slowly disappear, yet the flame is perceivably still, unmoved by our presumption. We know what a candle is, we know the properties of glass, we understand what refection means yet none of these things are what the work is about, this work isn’t about the ideas of objects.
The difficulty for me is to use language to describe such a thing.
I feel that there is little to agree or disagree with, no meaning beyond its experience. As language determines the contexts in which we see things, perhaps I want you to notice things that we cannot see, such as both sides of a surface simultaneously, or the space between two things.
This is a work about experience, but experience that uses images, something like a painter might like to achieve on canvas.
Breathing in, I calm my body.
breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful place.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
There was no formal design for this work, as it is more familiar to use an attitude of thinking by making. When I first moved a lit candle close to a face of a prism I saw its image shown back to me like a photograph.
Not a complicated act yet in that moment something moved from my eye to my soul without entering my brain. That was the visual epitaph of a moment experienced and whose imprint is left in reality, but as I recall it now I realise I am remembering the image of that experience not the experience itself, an imitation.
A friend of mine once told me ‘we are no longer walking from A to B, but “swimming” in an endless ocean, creating our own world every day again’.
The role of an artwork it to allow the invisible, the work it does is performed where the object isn’t, in the silence around it. Here that is ‘ma’, it asks you to pause.
It asks you to turn off your mind and look with your eyes, its success can be judged by the experience of those moments.
So it’s less about what the work is, but more about what it does. This ritual is perhaps prevalent in my mind.
Most artwork is finished when we look away and begins again when we look back, be it figuratively or actually both are some version of reality, neither necessarily more true than the other.
In a sense, all these things we make are durational, nature is a durational work in so much as it is never finished.
Once we make peace with the fact that we, as humans are simply part of nature (the same at the rain drop or steam or a cloud) only then an end, or death becomes quite inconsequential to life, or rather they are the same.
The action of a seed sprouting a root for the first time and if it were to fall in a storm later in its life, are deeply inseparable.
Maybe because we perceive we have life, we presume a counter part, death, or because there is day there is also night; better said the implication in light is that there is darkness.
seeing that we are life, instead of having it allows the separation from nature to softly dissolve and can bring with it a certain peace.
This may be difficult at times as imagination comes from the image, the picture, and therefor located so.
The experience is felt in the soul and cannot be truly described in images and therefore language.
In this object I offer some balance between the image and experience, or at least some relief from the language of both.
A peaceful opportunity to look and see.