Project outline:CUT/STACK/BURN is a performative re-enactment of a redundant rural activity - furze cutting for domestic fuel (or gorse outside of cornwall). The project uses art installation as a platform to develop a visual conversation about the implications and absence of sustainable approaches in the management of land and its resources. Our current use of energy in an age of climate change becomes a focal point and pivotal issue in this visual debate.
Sunday, 29 April 2007
The work was lit from below the green furze fire break at exactly 6.00pm after contacting fire control. I worked my way slowly round toward the right. I was calm and unworried; in fact I was more concerned about Nigel Cook, the National Trust warden helping me light it, as he worked the left side. He was more likely to get roasted as the breeze was in his direction. I had been so focused on the construction and project development my thoughts about it when on fire hadn’t really emerged. As it turned out I couldn’t see it as it initially went up in flames as each time I lit a new section I had to quickly move on. I had hoped to have lit it as a complete ring but it took ferociously quickly that I had to light it at sections spaced a couple of metres apart. Shouts from the crowd telling me ‘to get on with it’ perturbed me not as I knew from previous experience it would ‘go like stink’ though how long it would last was debatable. I wasn’t disappointed. The major part of the burn was over in about 10 minutes. The colour of the flames was a surprise. I have never seen or imagined such an orange. At one point at the height of the fire I saw a tornado of flame appear briefly in the centre of the work no doubt due to the shape of the construction and swirling rising heat. Dave Slater whose green furze filled the fire break worked out that the flames reached a height of over 60 feet. I drew the same conclusion on examining the photo records a few days later. A sense of euphoria kicked in as the applause came from the crowd and I stood back to witness the destruction. It is only now am I getting a sense of some kind of loss. I miss it now. What a waste…
Posted by bruce at 3:36 am