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The Moth, 1994

Hodway wanted to make this piece out of lead, but funds wouldn’t stretch that far. Instead he fabricated it from MDF covered in blow torched wax. The lead like finish is achieved by burnishing the wax with powdered graphite. It’s easy to miss the details in this piece as there is a lot of black. There is black oil paint text stencilled inside the matt black square. Inside the T aperture is a cast of a naked female torso. This piece often prompted viewers to perform a swaying ‘dance’ in front of it, as they tried to read the glossy oil paint text by manipulating the reflection of the gallery lights to differentiate it from the matt background.
 The text reads:

SITTING HERE PALE FACE UPTURNED A PICTURE OF THE SUN BURNED INTO MY EYES AS I WATCH THE MOTH WHICH SPIRALS ROUND AND ROUND THE NAKED BULB AND SLOWLY BURNS ITS OWN WINGS UNTIL IT CAN FLY NO MORE LAME AND TWITCHING UPON THE TILES AND IT IS PLAIN TO SEE THAT THE MEMORIES OF LIGHT AND FLIGHT AND HEAT ARE OF NO COMFORT

Category:
Weight 28 kg
Dimensions 130 × 30 × 200 cm
Media

Mixed media