Project Fire Flower was an exhibition of work by artist Collin van Uchelen with Carmen Papalia and curated by Whitney Mashburn at Grunt Gallery in Vancouver, BC from October 2nd - December 12 2021. I worked with van Uchelen as a contributing artist to support him in his persuit for a tactile translation of pyrotechniques by produing the drawings and designs for 9 touch panels.

Designs for 9 fireworks shells. From left to right: Dhalia, Palm, Small Peony, Willow, Shell of Shells, Medium Peony, Chrysanthemum, Commets & Large Peony.

Collin van Uchelen is a clinical psychologist and fireworks enthusiast who has been developing tactile methods for translating fireworks for years, most notably presented as Fingerworks for Fireworks at Vancouver’s Celebration of Light. After experiencing Fingerworks, socially engaged artist and community builder Carmen Papalia started a conversation with van Uchelen and curator Whitney Mashburn.

van Uchelen described the fully tactile exhibition as “an opportunity for visitors to see the light of fireworks through touch.”  The nine tactile acrylic panels are engraved and back lit with LED lights that illuminate the paths of seven different fireworks shells. Visitors are invited to trace their fingers through the engravings, while listening to van Uchelen’s voice describe the respective pyro effects. You can read the full written description used for the audio recordings within the Project Fire Flower Exhibition along with the exhibition text by Collin van Uchelen here ︎ 

You can also learn more about the exhibition at Grunt Gallery by clicking here ︎

Exhibition Photo curtesy of Grunt Gallery taken by Dennis Ha