‘Man on Fire’ (large scale), was selected for this year’s Threadneedle Prize Exhibition which opened at the Mall Galleries on Wednesday 1st September.
The show was curated by Xavier Bray (assistant curator at The National Gallery), David Rayson (professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art), and the sculptor Michael Sandle RA. ‘Man on Fire’, featured in Bettany Hughes’ Critics Choice review of the show, stands at a height of three metres and is modelled in foam, black baling plastic, chicken wire, human hair, and bitumen, supported by a steel armature.
‘Man on Fire’, which forms part of a larger installation, originally began as a hypothetical proposal for the Fourth Plinth entitled ‘What God of Love Inspires Such Hate in the Hearts of Men.’ It depicts a person consumed by flames, lunging forward, falling into oblivion.
The work is inspired by two events which took place in recent years. The first being the terrorist attack on Glasgow airport in which two men drove a car filled with explosives through its front window and one of men set himself alight.
The second event is the lasting impression of driving my van into a riot scene in Belfast: passing the burning cars, the melted tarmac and various detritus strewn across the road, the atmosphere suffocating, explosive with anger, and the air filled with a purple-blue, dangerous, haze.
Images show ‘Man on Fire’