Working with Plymouth's Karst Gallery

We were approached by Plymouth-based contemporary art Producer Vickie Fear to assist artist Claire Fontaine and the Karst Gallery in the production of the artwork 'UK (Burnt /Unburnt)' which formed part of the Exhibition 'We The People Are The Work'. They wanted a large map of the UK, that would span four 8ft by 4ft flameproof mdf sheets and consist of 58.000 holes! Vicky explained that the plan was each of the holes would hold and a match and that during the private view of the work these would be lit! 58000 match sized holes is no problem for our large 8ft by 4ft CNC router, we set to work preparing the cutting file and then started machining.

UK (Burnt/Unburnt), (2011-17) is a map of Great Britain composed with matchsticks planted into the wall and subsequently ignited. The aspect of the shape of the country once burnt becomes a shadow that keeps in itself the marks and the traces of the extinguished fire. Conceived by the artist Claire Fontaine as the trace of an action that we witness in the aftermath, as a sign of a tragedy that we perceived too late. This work whose form is at the same time a painting (made by the fire), a sculpture (of the remanence of the matches) and a video (showing the action of the burning in the space), acts as a strong disturbance of the white cube: its pungent smell invades the space and incongruously brings a sense of danger and precariousness to the visitors


'We The People Are The Work' was envisioned to be:

  'a poetic and emotional exploration of our feelings during unstable and trying times, it suggests that the events unfolding across the planet are the cause of the climate change inside our souls'

We The People Are The Work' is presented by PVAPG (Plymouth Visual Art Programming Group), a partnership between The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, KARST, Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University, Plymouth Arts Centre and The Box, Plymouth. It is part of Horizon, a collaborative two year programme of visual contemporary arts, funded through Arts Council England's Ambition for Excellence fund and led by Plymouth Culture.