Wildfires are a natural phenomenon.
After travelling to the origin of a wildfire that became to Canada's largest mass evacuation, during the cold dark winter nights, I began experimenting with wood, leaves, seeds and recorded the contact of these materials with fire. Underneath the miniature pyres instant film recorded the light and heat to imprint the film. Further experimentation was made with the often discarded peel off portion, which is the film's negative. As climate of Northern Alberta has extreme ranges between winter and summer (-50C to +35C ) the negatives were placed over night in the freezing air to reveal subsequent crystallisation of residual photo chemicals becoming etched on the the film.
Fire acts as a voice from the wild, to cleanse and renew. The boreal forest is one of 18 earth subsystems identified as precariously resting on a tipping point. The age and mass of plant life within, means the air you are breathing now, as you are reading this, has been recycled many times over there. It's function is vital to all life and beyond beauty to witness. As the earth’s largest land biomes potential to collapse in the short term increases; ancient activity of wildfire begins to energise under new environmental conditions created as nature is assisted by man (human).
Print information is available in the Shop
Further information on this project is also available from Matt Shonfeld at Institute Artists. Email.
All images © Alan McFetridge