Fire is not the only story
Fire is not the only story

Fire is not the only story

May 28 th 2010
Fire is not the only story

Oil and digital print on panel.
140 cm x 110 cm.

This fire was one of the most dramatic fires in Guelph, right in the downtown core.

Following the structure of my map paintings, I collected an annotated map from Guelph artist Greg Denton, who had rented a studio in that building for a year. That year he created "Out of Date: 365 self portraits"—a year of observing his own face. The labour of construction and care to create those paintings contrasts to brutally with the raging fire the demolished the building in the course of a night.

This painting, then, is about the immolation of identity; the fury of life's construction turned to ash.

Yet amid that destruction, there is the enigmatic blue window. What that window means, I am not sure. But it does indicate that the fire is not the only story.

Topics: Arts Vocation
Phil Irish
Phil Irish

Phil Irish, from Elora, Ontario, has exhibited widely across Canada and the United States. He earned a BA in Fine Art and English Literature from the University of Guelph in 1995. Exhibitions at public museums, artist-run-centres, and commercial galleries include Oakville Galleries, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Galerie Joyce Yahouda, Angell Gallery, and AKA Artist Run Centre. His contribution to the Francophonie International Painting Competition was exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada. La Manif d'Art 4, Quebec City's biennial, featured his work. He has developed new work during residencies in Newfoundland, at the Symposium in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, and as the City of Kitchener's Artist in Residence. Irish applied his painterly vision to a web-based artwork for Oakville Galleries. He was shortlisted for the Kingston Prize, Canada's national portrait competition.


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