House for Angels
HOUSE FOR ANGELS (2020)
Materials include burned wood from various fire locations around Los Angeles, recycled ink on paper drawings, recycled glass jars, tree trunk, rope, wire.
This installation results from my recent move from Europe to Los Angeles and immediately experiencing the destructive forest fires in California. My art is increasingly informed by the climate change crisis. I have also become much more aware of and responsible about my own wastefulness. I have decided to recycle and reduce as much refuse as possible and to incorporate the recycled materials into my artwork.
I visited several places near a friend’s home after the Malibu fires and spent time in the devastated area. I had the sense that I was being invited to pick up burned branches and bring them to my studio, where they peacefully awaited to be transformed into artworks.
Last year I was working as art director for a theatrical production where I made an entire flock of two-dimensional birds with ink on paper, as props for the show. After the play was over I didn't want to simply put them into storage, but decided to recycle those works and to make angel wings emerging from the cracks of the burned branches. These sculptures represent seraphim (angels with no visible bodies or faces).
I have always been interested in geography and attracted by paper maps. Technological development has led us to abandon paper maps and to use online services for navigation. Geopolitical situations are constantly redefining boundaries and names of countries, thereby altering relevance of the printed maps. The old maps become obsolete, so I gave the discarded maps a new life as 33 stars and dyed them blue.
Modern life produces so much consumer waste… every time I recycle my drawings I save the little, torn, scrap pieces that I didn't use. For this work I filled recycled glass food jars with the scraps and suspended them from the ceiling above a slice of a tree trunk. The trunk was collected from a neighbor, who decided to remove one of the oldest and only remaining trees that line the front yards along our street. The neighbor decided the tree was too messy, so cut it down. The street looks sadly barren and ugly with so few trees. The suspended jars of scraps above the sliced tree trunk makes a commentary about the general population’s disregard for trees.
The same work was reinstalled in Brea Art Gallery during the annual exhibition Made in California 2021 and received Staff Pick Award.
Pictured below, predating gallery exhibition, House for Angels' elements were originally installed as a one-day site-specific installation titled "Habitat Rebirth" in a burnt section of the Sepulveda Basin. After visiting the site several times and admiring how the wild weeds grew up green after rains to transform the burnt areas, I came up with the idea of using recycled jars and materials to honor the aspects of regeneration and rebirth.
Following images are sketches for the installation, Mix-media on paper 24'x18"