Blood of the Earth
Iron ore. The rusty red strata that runs deep in the earth as veins of blood. For centuries, it has been smelted into usable iron through spiritual rituals. Later it was used for industrial purposes, including creating instruments of violence and war. Through heating the metal of guns and forging it, altering the material's molecular structure, I am, in essence, setting the metal free through the process of transforming these weapons of violence into something new. In ancient times the blacksmith was thought of as an alchemist crafting carefully with the four elements - earth, air, water, and fire - and transforming the iron ore into iron. Hammered into iron as a gun, initially, and transforming that weapon into flowers-poses questions. Questions that have both micro and macro implications. Iron ore can be smelted to create tools of violence used in mass shootings and those same items can be repurposed into art. Beyond that are further questions regarding our culture of violence and, in fact, raises the question are we all now targets? There are other dialogues connected to this exhibition in both my own work and the guest artists, and selected speakers.