“O for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention!” William Shakespeare
For his latest body of work, The Phoinix Project, Shawn Saumell has set his works on fire. Literally. After reviewing his personal collection and archives, Shawn decided to "blaze" his photographs; not as an act of destruction, but rather as a reconstruction. The burning is not about obliteration, but about metamorphosis and rebirth. Using existing bodies and individual pieces of work, Shawn baptizes the materials in flames and new life emerges. Fire destroys. Fire cleanses. Fire makes new. The two-dimensional becomes three-dimensional. The photograph becomes sculptures, drawings, paintings, and installations. In the process, the images are completely transformed, the spaces they occupy are transformed, their forms have transformed, and their material compositions have chemically transformed. Thus, beauty emerges from decay, old worlds become new, appearances change but substance persists. Experience may be fleeting, but the Phoinix rises
Shawn obtained his BFA from Texas Woman’s University, magna cum laude, and his MFA from Lesley University College of Art and Design fka The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. He is one of the Top 50 MFA Painters in 2010, as well as a finalist for the Hunting Art Prize. His numerous international awards include, Director’s Choice, First Place, Best of Show, and Photographer of the Year. He has shown in museums and galleries throughout the United States (and internationally), he has appeared in numerous publications, and his work is in the collections of the Boston Public Library, Boston, MA; the Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY; Shah Alam Gallery, Malaysia; Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO; and the Mulafoco Museum, Uruguay.