This exhibition is the summation of five years of research into sculpture, performance and installation, leading to a Master of Fine Art through the College of Fine Arts (COFA), University of NSW. The thrust of the research has delved into fire, and refinement through fire. Chidzey said: “I wanted to investigate being able to use fire itself as an artwork, and probe the often spiritual implications associated with the flame.” The resulting creations highlight the inherent beauty of fire itself, and fire’s unique ability to have many contradictory meanings simultaneously.
French philosopher Gaston Bachelard wrote of fire: “Among all phenomena, it is really the only one to which there can be so definitely attributed the opposing values of good and evil. It shines in Paradise. It burns in Hell. It is gentleness and torture. It is cookery and it is apocalypse... It can contradict itself; thus it is one of the principles of universal explanation.” For Chidzey this delving into the supernatural approaches the heart of his work. The installations of this show highlight those beautiful contradictions by utilising live fire installations of ‘fire tubes’; the tension of fire & ice; both video and still image documentation of fire fountains.