Fuego Artist Statement
Fuego was made in response to the theory, proposed by Harvard University Anthropologist Richard Wrangham, that the development of large brains in humans was caused by cooking our food over a fire. In the work Fuego, artist Anthony Mead uses laser cut pieces of wood as a stencil to print patterns in salt on the ground. The patterns themselves are made by taking the letters of the word “food” written in a script font reflected on top of themselves. On the outside of the sculpture is a poem titled “Thrown to the flame” written by the artist. The viewer is asked to sit with the piece, meditate on it, read, examine, and consider the potential that our brains and maybe even our consciousness itself are the product of our relationship with food and fire.
wood, charcoal, salt, metal LED light, 69"x69"x24"
We Wish Artist Statement
Moments shared through this process are transformative for the wish, the wisher, and the facilitator of the wishing ritual. At times concluding in ambivalence, or in tears, in joy, or with embrace. The way we choose to shed walls and allow space for vulnerability allows for growth to occur. Wishes are not guaranteed to come true. But how can the truth of the manifestation of coming true can be understood in entirety? What can be known is that transformation, change, and growth will occur, regardless. How we choose to navigate our own wishes and share a place for the vulnerability to release hope into potentialities is both a solitary action and a communal activity. Our lives connect to other lives, our wishes to the wishes of others. The action of wishing, truly wishing, is transformation. From thought, through action, with hope into a wish. We commune together around the universal fire of the unknown, moment by moment, change is occurring. What potentials it brings is different for each of us as we gaze into the universal flame of possibilities from our own observational positions of self, while always being and affecting the whole.
We Wish Process
Participants were asked to think of a wish and write it on the slip of paper provided. The wisher is then asked to conceal the wish by folding or rolling the paper. The facilitator of the wish ceremony never reads or hears the wish. The following steps are then told to the wisher by the facilitator.
1. Facilitator lights the candle and hands the candle to the wisher
2. Wisher uses the lit candle to light the wish paper, candle remains lit
3. Wisher places burning wish paper onto porcelain slab for transformation by fire
4. During transformation of wish the facilitator captures the abstracted image of the wish onto glass.
5. Once the wish has been transformed to smoke to hopefully return as reality the wisher repeats the wish once to self and blows out the candle.
We wish and chance, for ourselves and each other
glass, soot from burnt handmade cotton paper, wishes, candle, and porcelain; Variable Scale
Anthony Mead grew up in southwest Michigan and is currently living and working in Lexington, KY. Mead received his Master’s of Fine Arts at Arizona State University in 2019 and his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in 2010 from Kendall College of Art and Design following studies abroad at Florence School of Fine Arts 2009. Also, in 2010, he co-founded Dinderbeck, a community artist studio, in Grand Rapids, MI. Mead has exhibited nationally and internationally, presented at museums and national conferences and taught classes at the University of Kentucky, Arizona State University and Kendall College of Art and Design in the fields of Printmaking, Graphic Design and Art Foundations. Mead’s work focuses broadly on concepts revolving around custom. Most recently his work has focused on the pyro-human relationship through human origins, history, societal development, and fire identity. His interests revolve around fires transformative properties and how it may be a lens to understand ourselves, global ecological impact, and responsibility.