I’m not sure where I got the idea for this, but I knew I wanted to burn paper. I think paper looks beautiful burned. I live in a very tiny apartment. If I had to guess, I’d say maybe it’s 350 square feet. If I wanted to burn paper I had to be very careful. I’m quite clumsy, so this only increases my risk of accidentally burning down my building.
I did a few versions of this piece on computer paper, and I found that I was able to contain the oil within one taped rectangle and fire in the other taped rectangle. But when I used the larger 22×30 paper (in my bathtub), this attempt at containing seemingly uncontainable forces (though on a small scale) failed. The oil bled through the paper beyond the tape and I had to quickly throw water all over it before the fire got out of control. This was such a silly experiment. I even used the wrong side of the paper. On the other side of the paper was the very neatly taped rectangle, and I accidentally used the not as neatly taped side meant for reinforcement.
I still think the drawings that resulted from the oil and fire came out quite beautifully, as does most natural form. This was definitely a good reminder that my attempt at perfection and control are futile.
In the future, I might attempt at using fire again, but in a space where it is safe for me to do so. Until then, here is my failed attempt!