Trial by fire

Much of my abstract inspirations come from industrial sites where corrosive elements coincide with fabricated structures, however this time I found myself in a parking lot, behind Barnes & Noble bookstore, admiring a dumpster.
What made it different from the usual ‘beat-up, graffiti spray painted’ and just trashy dumpster was, that at some point it had endured an internal fire. This caused the exterior to undergo some very interesting and dramatic changes to its surface and over time nature’s elements added to the outcome of the fire, including that of the refuse collectors and the stores personnel.

Full moon rising among planets

Though the dumpster is in plain view, I am sure little attention is given to its presence, except for someone in need of boxes for shipping, storage or a move, for the stores stockroom person has broken down and nicely folded their shipping boxes and deposited them in the ‘paper and cardboard only’ dumpster.

Blistering steel

The garbage container with its two metal covers swung back and filled to the brim with cardboard boxes appeared of no special interest at first glance, especially from a distance. After a second look, one that was more direct and focused to its mid and lower section, I was dragged into its seductive trap.
Upon closer examination it became clear that it was time to pull out the tripod and camera from the trunk of the car, grab myself a couple of the shipping boxes from the dumpster to serve as ground cover to sit upon and I begin taking pictures for the next forty or fifty minutes.

Innate combustion — Into the inferno’s abyss

What I had discovered was a wonderful abstract realistic palette of only the primary colours, including a host of varied textures, all of which were interacting with the random marks of human intervention.


Each image was carefully framed in the viewfinder until it satisfied personal compositional sensitivities and what I saw and tried to illustrate before pressing down on the shutter release. While with each passing minute the metal surface began unfolding more and more of its encrypted stories like a good book. There, in the depths of the pages, the Shamans hand points to the petroglyph, where the sun’s rays bless the land, there the buffalo and antelope roam plenty along the a river that empties into the lake.

Warnings too are foreshadowed, for when the full moon rises among the planets, from the depths of the inferno’s abyss, the land will shifts, erupt in a combustion of energy and its force will swell to the surface, unleashing a tsunami that travels the seas until it reaches the land of blistering steel.

The Tsunami

If we let our imagination be free to interpret what
our eyes have witness, we will see so much more.

For “the job of the artist
is to always deepen
the mystery

—Francis Bacon.

Thank you for your visit