They’re Singing Hymns for the Fallen
They’re singing hymns for the fallen reflects on how a single event suddenly can create chaos beyond comprehension, with the wildfire as the focal point. Through various techniques, Engstrøm plays with the idea of a changing landscape, where fragmented memories becomes testimonies to what once was and what is yet to come.
The work consists of three parts:
The sculpture consists of 12 columns with charred sides, forming two anamorphic images, that draw parallels to the deconstruction in relation to nature. One side shows a section of a burnt plantation, where the trees’ ghost-like figures almost takes human forms, as if their lives had been taken during a dance. The other side opens up for the idea of how it might have looked like when it happened, and how a future scenario might unfold. Both sides challenge the idea of a domesticated nature. How untamed forces such as a wildfire can change the power dynamics, and what this actually means in terms of how we perceive ourselves as a dominant species.
The poem is written on silk paper and lit up by flickering lights. Reflecting on being human and being transient. To let go of the idea of eternal power and relate to the fact that we are just a strand of hair of the earth’s vast lifespan.
Finally, a movie about the aftermath of a wildfire, where relics from both humans and nature stand as testimonies of something that once was. Accompanied by sounds of drones and winds, which is all the ears can detect.
The eternal plains
I walk on twigs of sand (dust)
to birds chirping from black pines.
Stoic and proud, they wave in the wind,
singing hymns for the fallen,
whilst the grass swallows the last drops of rain
preparing for yet another eternity.
Echoes of humming creatures rises from distant hills
it pierces the ears like an army of wasps,
but as sudden as they appeared, they vanish again,
into old memories of bygone days.
Forgotten plantations are covered with flowers
smiling at the sun in jackets of dew.
While domesticated stones have released themselves
and scattered across the landscape like molehills.
Here they will stand long after my passing.
Felicia Engstrøm 2023