The Burn was a show that opened as a part of the 2011 Around the Corner Art Group's Annual Art Walk.
Thanks to a fan for asking about one of the pieces from that show.
by Angel Ambrose
On a gorgeous fall day, I witnessed a burn. It was a raging fire, right across the street from my house. It was a controlled burn—the kind managed by masters who destroy prairie nature preserves with fire. Even so, the fire ate everything in its path. I grabbed my camera and crossed the street to watch the skilled workers contain the burn even as the red-orange inferno flashed spectacularly orange against the brilliant blue sky. The force of the roaring flames added to the adrenaline rush of the visual feast given in complementary palette.
Exhilarated, I came home to see what I captured on my camera. The photos were amazing. But I brought home more than great photos: I had also tracked charred remnants throughout the house onto the light beige carpet. These remnants, more so than the flames, captivated my creative heart. Soot, ashes, and seed—more specifically, the black soot contrasting with the white ashes and scorched milkweed pods. It looked like a death of sorts, and it was. But out of that death was new life. Amazingly, it is the devastation of the fire that would bring restoration to the prairie. This is one of my favorite themes, rediscovered in a fresh revelation, before my very eyes.
The burn. There are other burns that signal something new is happening. Many avid exercise enthusiasts “work it” for the burn that signals the muscles are being regenerated. We burn too. We say our hearts burn—burn with anger, lust, passion, and desire. We say, “I burn for you.”
And there is a spiritual sort of burn, one God uses to change us from the inside out. A very dear friend, Diana Lane, lost her life, here, on this earth, to cancer this spring. We were daily friends, and I had the privilege of walking with her until she left this place and now has a new life in a truly spectacular place.
In many ways, the burn symbolizes to me how God burns away what is dead and then plants a seed of new life and hope in me. The fire God uses is hot. His flames both frighten and exhilarate me. I am beginning to see new life where there was once darkness.
Because my art explores relationships—with others and with God—nature can be the stage where I work out my artistic expressions alongside my emotional connections. Then, I put them on the wall for you to view in hopes of connecting in some way—another new birth. That’s why I wanted to show you The Burn I saw across from my home. The photographs, which I intended as the main course for “The Burn” show, were lost in catastrophic computer anarchy. The ache I felt in the loss upon loss was fierce. Letting go of what was lost was another sort of death, but the death of my “planned work” forced new life for this show as well. Poetic, hey? I took the concepts of the burn and began to create the imagery I experienced. I had a handful of prints to use as proofs, but the rest are forever gone like that which was burnt up on the prairie. What you see is new expression, finding a new way to share the beauty and mystery of The Burn.