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Sarah Pickering: Fire Scene

by Jonah Samson
on 17 January 2008

Sarah Pickering's photographs belong to the magical space that exists between reality and illusions. Capturing the unique bursts of smoke and light that resulted from detonating certain types of bombs including land mines, artillery, air fuel and even napalm, I was completely dazzled by her earlier photos of explosions taken during military training exercises. Her most recent body of work called "Fire Scene," now on view at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York, continues to explore the fiery threat of destruction.

The images in the show (see more after the jump) were created while working as artist in residence at the U.K. Fire Training College, and document spaces called "burn units" that are used to simulate household fires. These units are assembled with a high-level of detail and then strategically burned to train forensic teams and crime scene investigators.


"My work explores the idea of imagined threat and response, and looks at fear and planning for the unexpected, merging fact and fiction, fantasy and reality. The images are a representation of society's coping mechanisms, which are often happening out of the public arena."

Each photograph is created at a moment when the flames begin to take hold of the contents of the room and, like her previous images of explosions, these photographs suspend a moment as it unfolds.

Fire Scene
Through 15 March 2007
Daniel Cooney Fine Art
511 West 25th Street, Suite 506
New York City, New York 10001 map
tel. +1 212 255 8158

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