On June 3 at 12:00, Guatemala was rocked by a devastating volcano eruption that affected directly or indirectly over 1.7 million people. Many died and even more were left homeless.
Antigua, where the artist’s family resided, is only a few kilometers away from the live volcano named Fuego. This area was blanketed with volcanic ash and the cleanup is still ongoing to this day. It was by far the worst eruption in Guatemala since the 70’s.
Regarding materials; The ash that was collected for the work came directly from the volcano eruptions on June 3, 4, and 5, 2017. (more info on the eruptions here). Also, the canvas for the work was sourced from The New Denim Project, an incredible textile company that upcycles used denim and other textiles to create threads and fabrics used to create all kinds of textiles such as art canvas, clothing, etc. Check out The New Denim Project here.
With regards to technique, the artist spontaneously spreads the ash out on a smooth surface like concrete or wood, applies a natural glue to the canvas surface, then lays the canvas flat on the image. With slight pressure, the ash composition is transferred to the canvas and then the canvas is lifted to reveal the image. The artist feels it is akin to a monoprint technique and he will create many images in one work session and keep only the best ones. Depending on the mood and the energy of the day, the image can be sober or dynamic, complex or simple. Brand tries to stay in a meditative state while spreading the ash and feels the energy of the earth can also define the image.