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Artist Statement:

 

Matching the scale of an existing candle, here feathers from an old feather pillow are utilized in a process of recreation that underscores resource consumption within materiality. To make the piece successful, the outer layer of the fabric of the recycled pillow was measured and cut into three pieces necessary for the form. Next, white feathers from within were carefully selected for size and quality, amidst the variations available, and attached to the measured pieces of outer fabric through the process of individually hand-sewing each feather to the surfaces until the final appearance was accomplished. Each piece of feather covered fabric was finally sewn together and stuffed, with one feather quill attached at the top to resemble a wick to sell the appearance of a candle constructed entirely of feathers. For the candle to have some stability, a measured and cut piece of cardboard was added at the base before the bottom was sewn. Finally, a handful of feathers from the inside of the pillow was used as a bed for the candle to sit on, displaying the range of feathers used in consumer products, with an old match box resting aside, ready for use. The overall effect allows viewers to consider the relationship between the source of those feathers and the symbolism of a candle, which, when lit, slowly burns away its own form. The commonly understood extreme flammability of feathers is implicit of a time in history in which human beings are quickly burning through their resources, including other arguably sentient life forms, while rapidly approaching further catastrophic repercussions for consumeristic, unsustainable, and un-symbiotic action; or otherwise, as a metaphor, our species is the candle running out of wax to burn, and so our flame is soon to be extinguished. In addition, the use of feathers is a daunting reminder of the inhuman manor in which animals are being commodified for such purposes as food, décor, bedding, clothing, and other means of consumption. The addition of the bed of feathers, as well as the box of matches is to aid the viewer in making the intended connections when viewing the piece, by allowing the viewer to avoid the mistake of viewing the candle as mere object, and instead influencing them to consider its material, as well as the action that lighting it intends, bringing together symbolic intentions.