Where They Burn Books 00069-00079

Dan Elborne
Where They Burn Books 00069-00079, 2020
Porcelain, glaze, gold lustre and book ash, 22 x 14 x 9.5cm
Collection of 11 pieces (7 porcelain + 4 ash)


WhThe first collection of this series was produced during a 2016 residency at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre in Denmark. The original influence of this work remains, although this year has imbued these specific pieces with a more nuanced personal meaning.

At the beginning of 2020, I moved my home and studio from Toowoomba (Qld) to Melbourne (Vic): a complex transition exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In establishing a new studio and experiencing the pandemic-related restrictions here in Melbourne, I decided to publicly extend this series for the first time as it was both achievable from home and satisfying as a creative task.

The totality of Where They Burn Books represents the resilience and preciousness of our continual collation of knowledge. Underneath that, extending this series in 2020 echoes my own consumption of written material this year—notably more than any other year of my life. Through this reading, I’ve found strong foundations for new, long-term project ideas. Without the capacity to expand these thoughts as I normally do—through material-based experimentation in the studio—I’ve just been reading more. I’m confident that the fruits of this will appear in the coming years.

Fitting for work produced in lockdown, these pieces are particularly awkward when standing alone, but, like us, they collectively stand firm.