Projects > Burnt Offering

Zoe Cohen abstract pyrography drawing on tile wood panel
Burnt Offering 1
Pyrography on Tiled Walnut Panel
approx 15 x 18"

The Burnt Offering series layers of meaning from image, process, and material. The image resides on a ground of tiled wood panel, itself cut and carved, at once interrupting and containing the drawn form. Using thin walnut boards in a tiled format allows for the ground of the drawing to become part of the open question of the piece. Drawing with a burning tool marks the surface and also alters it more deeply, recording momentary decisions that accumulate to a larger form.

A burnt offering is an ancient symbolic Jewish rite of offering up some valued material - in the historic tradition, an animal whose body would have otherwise provided food, warmth, and light. It contains the sense of awe and fear that comes from confronting what is larger than ourselves. But in the face of this fear, we celebrate our relationship to the world and all that is holy in it.