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Fire Within by Simone Gorman-Clark

Fire Within

Simone Gorman-Clark

About the artwork and sitter

The self portrait ‘Fire Within’ is a visual representation of how long-term disenfranchised grief smothers the fire within almost to the point of extinction, and how the nurturing of a creative passion has the power to ignite the embers into a raging transformative fire.

‘Fire Within’ was created in total darkness using light painting techniques, captured all in camera within a single long exposure.

About the artist

Simone Gorman-Clark is a Brisbane born visual artist who lives on the Gold Coast. Her art practice encompasses photography and mixed media, and through her work Simone aspires to evoke emotion and challenge the perception of her views to create a dialogue and raise awareness.s

“I aspire to evoke emotion and challenge the perception of my views to create dialogue and raise awareness.”

Behind the scenes

In my mind’s eye with this piece, light was dripping from above and then drawing down on my half-visible face, to suggest something was sucking the life out of me and snuffing out my internal fire.  The other half of my face was not visible and small flames were building, to suggest something was bringing me back to life, like petrol thrown onto my internal fire.  Each side of my face opposed like dark and light, and I was watching a transformative work in progress that could go either way at any time. 

To create this piece I set my camera up for a self-portrait and prepared everything I would use to paint with light on a tray.  I turned the lights off to be in total darkness, sat on my stool with my tray on my lap, closed my eyes and opened the camera shutter.   The challenge was for my head and shoulders to remain completely still so I did not create a blur in the final image being a long exposure.  Trying to stay perfectly still, I picked up my coloured torches and fibre optics in sequence to literally paint like a brush with light over my face.  Because of the movement created by my arms, my head would often follow resulting in a blurry image, and it took a number of attempts to achieve the final piece.   I became overwhelmed with many emotions when I viewed the back of my camera to see what had been captured within the long exposure.    My mind’s eye vision looked back at me and had become the visual representation of my lived experience as Fire Within.