A God In The Hearth: A Visual Essay on Fire and Fossil Fuels

David Carmack Lewis

13 Nov 2015 - 07 Jan 2016, All Day

Portland Community College, Cascade Campus Gallery, Terrell Hall, room 102, Oregon


"Diptych #1 (Fire and Engine) by David Carmack Lewis, oil on paper, 12" x 16" each


13 Nov 2015 - 07 Jan 2016
All Day
There will be an artist talk on Friday, November 13 from 2 to 3pm followed by a reception from 3 to 5pm.


Portland Community College, Cascade Campus Gallery, Terrell Hall, room 102
705 N. Killingsworth
Portland, Oregon,  97217
United States
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“A God In The Hearth” is a visual essay of paintings about humanity’s deep connection to fire and the impacts of fossil fuels.

Large works on canvas and smaller studies on paper compare traditional fires and fireplaces to the hidden fires of engines and power plants and the affect these are having on the planet. Comparisons are also drawn between coal and wood, a reminder that fossil fuels are essentially forests that grew eons before human beings existed. One of the most ironic results of their use is an increase in the number and severity of wildfires, especially in the American West. The work as a whole acts to remind us of the primacy of fire in our lives. Only by acknowledging fire’s key role in human life can we begin to understand what it will take to wean ourselves from our dependency upon it.

“In it’s varied forms we simultaneously love fire and fear it. But all too often, at our peril, we take it for granted. To make matters worse the fires that fuel modern life are largely hidden. The hearth fire, once the center of our lives, has been locked away in a metal cage, sealed up like a genie in a bottle to grant our wishes. But as our hidden hearths blaze merrily away the climate of the planet is changing as a direct result. Just because we don’t see the flames doesn’t mean the world isn’t burning.”