Anemoon On Fire

Anemoon On Fire, Creature of the Sewer: Helicophorus, 2023.

Can an apocalypse look cheerful? The creatures Anemoon On Fire (2003) makes are deformed by disasters. In collaboration with the artist Koos Buster, she previously created mutated animals in ceramics that conceptualized the monstrous forms marine life might currently take on around Fukushima (JP). She also imagines future disasters, such as a massive flooding of New York City (US) leading to fish swimming through the streets. The pollution of the seas has drastically changed the appearance of these creatures. At Prospects the artist is showing an example of this in Creature of the Sewer: Helicophorus (2023), a large ceramic sailfish.

The artist finds inspiration for her creatures during diving expeditions. Details of the marine life she encounters reappear in the creatures she later executes in ceramics. Over the years, Anemoon On Fire has noticed how the sea is changing: “Places first inhabited by jellyfish are now filled with floating plastic bags.” She also sees how marine animals adapt to their new circumstances, like the species of crab that uses materials from its environment as camouflage. “They sort of wallpaper themselves in plastics and other waste materials and then look like little creatures who have already lived through an apocalypse.”

As a self-taught artist, Anemoon On Fire furthermore enjoys experimenting with different materials and techniques, like applying various self-made pigments and oxides to the sailfish before firing the glazes and lustre in the kiln. Each layer increases the probability that this fish has indeed been swimming in a chemical sea.

Text: Jorne Vriens
Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang