Christopher Colville

Christopher Colville

Works of Fire


Works of Fire consists of multiple sequences of images that are meditations on the dual nature of creation and destruction. The images in each series are made by igniting small portions of gunpowder on the surface of silver gelatin paper. In the resulting explosion, light and energy abrade and burn the surface while simultaneously exposing the light-sensitive silver emulsion. I loosely control the explosion by placing objects on the paper’s surface, but the results are often surprising and unpredictable as the explosive energy of gunpowder is the true generative force creating the image. These fire prints visually reference celestial events, the residue of both creation and obliteration, generated from a single spark.

The sub series Meditations on the Northern Hemisphere employs the patterns of constellations in the night sky as a template for further contemplation.

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