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Heath Matysek-Snyder

Artist Statement Submitted 2016

Not everyone has a personal relationship with firewood but I’ve discovered through ample conversations with a wide cross-section of people, that many in fact do. Peoples’ connections to firewood range from the romantic to the familial to the necessary: but regardless of the reason I’ve found the act of stacking wood, particularly in public spaces, to be a remarkable catalyst for discussion. Through this accessible point of entry I investigate themes of place and identity. Like many others I have a specific history with the cutting, splitting, stacking and burning of firewood. Growing up, my family heated with wood and collecting it was a year round family task. The Komíny (Czech for “stacks”) that I create, incorporate meaningful objects directly into firewood stacks. Embedded in a common medium, the artifacts range from books to chairs to tractors, signifying different places, cultures and histories depending on the chosen objects and locations.

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