We are proud to announce our second solo exhibition by British artist Sarah Pickering, titled Fire Scene. This exhibition consists of ten large-scale color photographs produced while an Artist in Residence at the UK Fire Training College from 2006 – 2007. The images document spaces called “burn units” that are used to simulate accidental household fires.
The burn units are set dressed environments that are strategically burnt to train forensic teams and crime scene investigators. They are painstakingly assembled to have a convincing level of realism. There are pictures on the walls, underwear in drawers, trinkets and books on shelves and even food on the breakfast table. Each room is filled with specific narratives with clues to the identity of the perpetrator and/or victim and scenes of disturbance.
Crime Scene Specialists decide on a scenario, based on an actual event, for trainees to decipher from the charred remnants of the room after the fire is extinguished. Pickering photographs the units as the flames are taking hold of the furnishings. As with previous work these photographs suspend a moment of an event as it unfolds. Each image is poised between beauty and ruin and set within a continued cycle of construction and destruction.
Since Pickering’s debut exhibition at the gallery in 2006 she has been included in exhibitions at the Tate Britain, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, The North Carolina Museum of Art, The Mint Museum, The Palazzo delle Papesse and will soon be exhibiting at the Krannert Art Museum and the Modena Museum. Her work will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum fur Photographie in Braunschweig, Germany in March 2008. Her work is also included in a new book titled New British Photography and was featured in Vitamin Ph published by Phaidon in 2007. In 2007 Sarah’s photographs have been added to the permanent collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Lannan Foundation.