Feather Shed from a Meteor, No.14

 

muonionalusta meteorite, eucrite, and carbon on paper

47.5 x 25 inches

 

This piece will make its debut on September 1 at my upcoming show at Davidson Galleries in Seattle, Washington.

 

Meteorites are stones that fall from the sky, and, as stones, they present a particular challenge to the material imagination.  In a sense meteorites arrive on Earth in a dream-like state.  Typically stones do not fly through the air on their own. What can the material imagination do with an object that is already endowed with a momentum we do not generally associate with that material (at least as we understand it)? Does the imagination add additional qualities of translucency or radiation? Does it continue to add some aspect of fluid dynamics or some other aqueous logic? Does it try to simply reduce it to the gravitational logic of a sublunary object? The challenge is not one of limitation, but of infinite possibility.

Many years ago, I started a series of paintings called Alchemical Feathers. These are works that give stones of the Earth the agency of flight. This last year, I began to use meteorite-derived pigments. I wrote out a list of qualities intrinsic to meteorites, one of which was flight, their orbits and especially that initial flash through our atmosphere. Meteorites do not arrive discreetly. Recalling I my initial meditations that gave rise to Alchemical Feathers, I realized that these paintings provided a prolepsis of sorts to being available to the implications of the flight of meteorites. As a result, some of the first images that I made with these pigments were of feathers.  Only this time, instead of introducing a flightless object to flight, I was introducing an object of cosmic flight to Earth-tethered flight, to the archetype of birds, and the human proclivity for dreaming.