"In the Light of Fire" - Joanna Neame

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London View Inspiration Details

Artist Statement

Joanna Neame

My inspiration derived from the V&A piece “Fire Imp” by Antony Robinson, 1974. The piece, traditionally associated with “dancing flames”, is made of bronze and shaped in an organic flower-like way. I was particularly attracted to its high shine and the softness of its form, which contrasted beautifully with its sharp edges and inherent coldness of the material. The shape and rhythm of fire were embedded in the object’s form and its shine was reminiscent of light and warmth.

The aim of my project was to try and capture the “essence” of the fire: its fleeting dance, its magical colours and its mesmerising light. I extensively experimented with the sagging technique in order to achieve a shape reminiscent of flames, fully embracing the element of unpredictability, which is inherent in the firing process. The final piece is a considered assembly of carefully planned pieces alongside semi-accidental results, which evoke the fire qualities. The element of warmth was also crucial in the design and, for that purpose, I researched the relationship between colour and heat in a fire. Balancing the colours was a fundamental element of the final composition. Various cold working techniques helped me fine tune and assemble the final product. Light was an absolutely crucial part of this work and I explored ways of displaying it so that strong directional light can be incorporated in the composition. From a point of view, the play of light is as much part of the artwork as the piece itself.

"In the Light of Fire" - Joanna Neame

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspiration details:

Fire Imp

Wall hanging



Antony Robinson

V&A collection reference number(s):

Exhibition Guide

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