Artist's Statement I continue to find the process of burning seductive. I use a variety of tools, from traditional pyrography converter boxes connected to nichrome wire pens, to heat- sensitive chemicals, heat guns, and butane torches to build my drawings.
I have been using pyrography and other forms of burning as a method of drawing for over 12 years. For some time I have been building a series that now includes over 100 images of things that we don’t necessarily focus on as a collective: insects, disease forms, wildlife, invasive species and trees in various states of growth and decay.
Nature’s intentions, slow and deliberate, collide with man’s oblivious need for now. Through the detailed, burned marks I make, something of the fragility of both man and nature converges. Meanwhile, the Earth swallows our dumb sense of progress in slow, deep gulps.
I almost always burn on birch or maple plywood because the surface is smooth, and because plywood is about as far removed from the forest as wood can be while still being wood. The thin veneer of plywood is like a skin, the burned drawing, a tattoo. Leaving behind a burned image on plywood is burning a history into an artifact of the forest. My studio is heated with a wood stove. I take a perverse pleasure in destroying the work that doesn’t satisfy me, paper or wood, it all creates heat. I can’t work unless it’s warm out there, so in the end, I cut up my discarded drawings and use them to start a fire. I hope that what remains may start a conversation or may prompt someone to tell a story of their own.
Artist Bio Brett has recently had a solo show of her work as an Artist in Residence at Umass Medical School in Worcester and at the Winter Works show at the Bromfield Gallery in Boston ( December 2019). She was featured along with two other artists in the New Talent Show at The Alpha Gallery in May of 2019 and in August 2019 in the Summer Selections Show. In July 2019 she was also in a group show at The Boston Sculptor's Gallery. Prior to this she was part of group show at MassMOCA in North Adams, at the Doran Gallery at Massart (May 2019), and at the Lyceum Gallery at The Derryfield School in Manchester, NH in 2018. She was in a collective show about traveling to Cuba in the Student Life Gallery at Massart in October 2019, and in the Away Show at Massart in November of 2019. Earlier in her career she had shows in galleries in Providence, RI; Mesa, AZ; and at the Center For Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University. Photographs of the disused areas of the (recently destroyed) Westborough State Hospital, including the Power House and what used to be part of the Lyman School for Boys, were on permanent display at the Central Offices of the Department of Mental Health in Boston for many years.
Brett is a guest reviewer, visiting lecturer and graduate student mentor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has also supervised and mentored many graduate and undergraduate art and expressive therapy students in her practice as an art therapist.
Her name is from Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, after the character Lady Brett Ashley. She lives outside Boston with her family, one greyhound, 4 cats, 5 hens and one perpetually hungry Oscar.
Brett S. Poza received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, an MA focusing on Art Therapy from Lesley University and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt).
Brett S. Poza firstname.lastname@example.org @theboneartist