To Ashes (2022)

GOMA Gallery of Modern Art, Waterford
25th Aug – 01 Oct, 2022
Opening Reception 25th Aug 6pm
Tue-Sat, 12-5pm

Evgeniya Martirosyan’s new body of work ‘To Ashes’ is a meditation on mortality, impermanence and loss. The artist draws from the symbolism of fire and ash, materials closely associated with death and destruction, but also leading to a new cycle of creation. Used family beds, objects which hold memories of life, dreams and struggles, were set on fire and reduced to debris. Charred and fragmented bed carcasses also allude to war, displacement and the aftermath of a disaster, coincidentally resonating with current events.

The work combines sculptural detritus  with moving image, developed from the artist’s continuous  experimentation with the material and visual qualities of fire and ash. As the fire gradually reduces the objects to ash, this formless and featureless substance is activated again  by  the  caressing artists hand.  The tactile gesture creates an emotionally charged  atmosphere, inviting the viewer to reflect on the fragility and precariousness of life. 

‘The sense of fragility is immediate and haunting… Ash now becomes pure memory matter, teeming with its own vibrant ghost life.’

Max Le Cain

Moving image collaborator: Chris Hurley