Cynthia created THE EIGHTH FIRE for ArtPrize 2013 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to honor early inhabitants living along the Grand River before the advent of European settlers.
It is a well-known fact that Native people lived along the Grand River in Michigan for thousands of years before Europeans migrated here. In their honor, Cynthia created
THE EIGHTH FIRE .
This multifaceted structural steel sculpture stood as their sentinel downtown on Calder Plaza during ArtPrize 2013. The sculpture is the artist's response to an oral legacy purporting that while ancestors of local Native People lived in the area, they passed through a series of seven time periods, each of which became known as a prophesy. In the sculpture, each of these prophecies is depicted by a unique flame painted its own shade of red.
Now is the time of the seventh prophecy. It acknowledges the current dilemma between embracing either materialistic or spiritual goals. If materialism and disrespect prevail, all will be lost. However, it has been said, "If by the light of the Seventh Fire come those who use their power and strength with wisdom and gentleness, there will be a time of harmony and balance." Cynthia celebrates the second alternative. Thus the Eighth Fire thrusts its single thread of flame 32 feet high, from the center of the installation, toward the heavens to "soar with the White Eagle bringing the wisdom of the Spirit with the first light of day."
Cynthia works with Scott Walcott of Premier Metal Hudsonville, Michigan, to create a model for
THE EIGHTH FIRE.
It starts with drawings and a cardboard mockup.
The fires are cut out of thin metal.
They are welded to individual bases.
And the first metal macquette is born.
The Seventh Fire, which is 14 Feet High and weighs several hundred pounds, comes out of the press break.
The Eighth Fire, which is programmed on the computer, starts as three flat pieces of steel each of which is 36 feet long. Because every side is different, there is only one way the parts will fit together.
Little by little the first two components are pulled together. Then the third face is attached to the first two. When finished, this unit weighs about 4,200 pounds.
When the exhibit ended, individual fires of
THE EIGHTH FIRE went their separate ways much as the early people did after meeting at the Grand River. Today the Eighth Fire and several of the other flames can be seen at Cynthia's Studio in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Copyright © 2015 cMc design. All Rights Reserved.
Concept, design and coding by Jean P. Johnson with Team Designova. Design implemented for cMc design by NetWerks LLC
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