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"Carrying the flame" conceptual portrait

November 3, 2017


I recently participated in two exhibitions in the same week.  I was incredibly grateful to be invited and my heart said a full yes to both.  Perhaps I underestimated the amount of work that would be required in participating as by the end of the exhibitions I felt completely spent, energetically.  


To help me process my emotions, I usually turn to creativity... either music or art.  This time it was art.  I started feeling into that place of sheer exhaustion.  The amount of effort it can take to keep a flame alive can be monumental.  As my vision developed I realised that my emotions around this were so short lived compared to others who have battled for years to keep their flames burning.  Some people might even forget the reason why they're holding the flame altogether and it just becomes habitual.  A state of exhaustion is what they know and understand as a normal existence.  


For this image, I wanted a ferocious sea... and to create the illusion that she was carrying burning sticks.  My daring model, Kerry was more than happy to go into the waste deep water and take direction over the sound of the waves.  As I needed to light the fire after this scene, I asked if she could try to keep the centre portion of the sticks as dry as possible.  Kerry held those sticks high as a wave came over her suddenly (modelling is no easy task).  The sticks were dry, but Kerry was not.  


Later we took the sticks to the other side of the headland as the wind was not working in our favour on the other side.  Thankfully the sticks caught alight and we were able to complete the mission.  


Afterwards we doused the fire in sea water so there was no chance of the flames spreading.  I also checked in with the local fire station to make sure I was not doing anything illegal.  








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