St. Mary's Projects in Studio Art:

Mary Gottschalk / SMP 2010

Igniting Love

Art speaks to me as an invitation to play. I imagine objects as characters full of purpose, meaning, and stories to tell. The question I like best is the "what if," that drives every story. In this body of work I ask: What if I created a world where matches and candles could fall in love? What would happen? I visually explore how the match and candle are drawn to each other, connected by their common function of igniting and holding a flame.

In my stories, Candles, matches, and flames participate in an intense act of beauty often described like passionate love. I set the stage for these matches and candles to act out an implied action or gesture within the still life. Like any love, the flame transforms each participant; the match quickly smolders and the wax of the candle begins to melt, succumbing to the burning heat. The act is irreversible, and introduces a limited lifespan for both match and candle. Ultimately the outcome of the story is left open for the viewer to interpret. Would they choose to avoid the spark that could ultimately end them, or embrace the sacrifice for the shared beauty? What course would a fiery passion take in their lives?