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Fire and Ashes

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By Stephanie Krings
Photo Editor

Vibrant red is the first color  to assault your eye as you walk into Timothy Norris’ exhibit of huge acrylic paintings, charcoal drawings, and sculptures in the Paul Collins Gallery at GRCC. Molten lava erupts through black rock leaving gray ash in its wake, and green slopes hide hearts of flame.

“Over the past several years, I’ve been exploring the varied symbolism of fire in my paintings,” Norris said. “Then I realized it made a lot of sense to also start making drawings using the by-products of fire– charcoal, embers, ashes, and other carbon based media- as an extension of the fire theme.”

The artist’s fascination with fire has led to inspiration in other ways, some of which has come from the book entitled “Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Creative Temperament,” written by Kay Redfield Jamison.

“Over the years, I’ve read many biographies of artists, musicians, and writers,” Norris said. “It’s sobering to note the high number of creative individuals throughout history who apparently suffered from severe bipolar disorder.” This paradox led to the creation of a sculpture, “Earthwork Model #5: Bipolarity Memorial,” a small-scale prototype for a larger environmental piece, a design that plays off Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty.”

Norris’ art ought to be viewed in person to be fully appreciated for its intensity of color and the minute details of his charcoal work.

 

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