‘Consumed’ by flame, art exhibit looks at effects of uncontrolled fire

Photo by the artist

An art exhibit inspired by ravaging effects of uncontrolled fire across the planet will be unveiled later next month at Guildworks in Bloomfield.

Influenced by the growing number of devastating wildfires in Canada and around the world, ‘Consumed’ is comprised of fifteen turned, carved and burned sculptural wood vessels, exploring the themes of fragility, resilience and our relationship with nature.

Andreas Kratschmer works and lives in Picton. He exclusively uses locally salvaged wood, which he turns green, so that the drying process of the wood becomes an integral part of the creation. With the use of fire, he amplifies the natural tension in the drying wood. By embracing the resulting cracks and imperfections he explores our impact on the natural world.

Born and raised in Germany, Kratschmer holds a Bachelor Degree in Audiovisual Media from the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart and worked for over 10 years in television and media arts before following his passion for creating with wood. He studied cabinetmaking at l’École des Métiers du Meuble de Montréal where he was first introduced to woodturning, which quickly became the centre of his artistic practice.

“Over the last couple of years, I have slowly incorporated the use of fire into my work. First, purely for the esthetic appeal of the scorched surface of a black vessel. Then, fire became part of the creation process once I noticed it’s impact on the final shape of a piece, altering the speed and intensity of how the wood dries and warps. The more I used fire in my process, the bolder I got, charring my pieces in higher, hotter flames, but always in a controlled, tamed manner,” Kratschmer explained

But the artist wonders can fire really be tamed ? Devastating wildfires, consuming forests all around the world, prove otherwise. Some fires are natural, some are man-made. All have an impact on the climate.

“Our forests play a crucial part in the Earth’s water cycle. Trees hold and store enormous amounts of water, slowly releasing it into the atmosphere through evaporation. Once consumed by flames, trees lose this capability,” he said “The 15 vessels in my installation ‘Consumed’ are all cracked, they can’t hold water, but they remind us of the life that used to flow through the tree. They remind us of the importance forests play as climate regulators. And they give us hope because a forest may be fragile but it is always resilient and where there is water, new life will follow and the circle of nature will resume.”

Consumed opens September 11, 4-6 p.m. at Guildworks, 346 Main St., Bloomfield and runs until Oct. 10. For more information, visit guildworks.ca