Five Hearths for Charlotte
Five Hearths for Charlotte, 1992
White Italian marble, wood, aluminum foil and light bulb fires
5 elements, 42" x 72" x 17" each
H. and W. Bechtler Gallery, Charlotte, NC

The five fireplaces that comprise this installation were designed to fit with the materials and grid of an office-building lobby used as a gallery for contemporary art works. Facing the elevators through which people arrive at work, the hearths were among the first objects encountered in the space and the last seen as workers returned to the parking garage at the end of the day. Their domestic scale and familiarity of form and function were offset by the fact that these hearths had no chimneys, were in a group, and were obviously plugged into the building. Central to my idea for this work was how these images of home effected the public space of the lobby gallery and how seasonal changes during the nine-month-long installation colored viewers’ responses to the work: were they comforting in the cooler weather … absurd as air conditioning chilled the lobby during the steamy southern summers? Did multiple hearths trigger thoughts of home during the daily 9 To 5?


Five Hearths for Charlotte