2021-19 Images from a Burning World

2021-19 Images from a Burning World

At the moment we are witnessing two simultaneous global catastrophes: climate change and Covid pandemic. Pieces in this gallery depict a world of ice and fire which seems to be in the midst of cataclysmic changes. Volcanoes erupt, clouds of sulphur and ash fill the sky, the ice melts.

One starting point for the theme of this body of works has been a Buddhist text, the Fire Sermon in which all is said to be burning. In the sermon the all is considered to be everything which constructs our perception and experience. In Buddhism fire is, among many things, a metaphor for the self and suffering, as for anger, greed and delusion. At the same time, they feed the flames of suffering.

The pieces also draw influence from various other roots: Late modern period exploration and cartography, Romantic era mountain landscapes, East Asian landscape painting and the book Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing by René Daumal (1908-1944).

Among the landscapes there are also pieces that are between representational and non-representational images. Some of them juxtapose with celestial bodies or other natural phenomena and the meanings ancient humans have given to them. The juxtapositions find their place also in people’s internal space – they illustrate events within us.

The gallery also contains an animation and its soundscape. The animation has been created with individually hand painted frames. The piece turns our attention to temporality: changes in the earth’s crust speed up, mountains begin to flow and millennia’s pass before our eyes. Looking from a geological perspective the changes that we are experiencing now happen in a blink of an eye. Finally, a transcendence is created by observing the inevitable passing of the vastness of time, which contrasts with our subjective experience, bringing about a feeling of acceptance and a glimmer of hope.