Video

For these artists, the most important moment of building a sculpture is burning it down

A group of what we're calling "pyro-sculptors" built a massive dire-wolf in Edmonton — just to set it on fire. It's pyromania turned public art.

They built a massive dire-wolf in Edmonton — just to set it on fire

A group of what we're calling "pyro-sculptors" built a massive dire-wolf in Edmonton, just to set it on fire. 4:02

Let's just say it: winter is horrible. But in Edmonton, it's also become a reason for these local artists to spark up a massive bonfire — just to burn down their own work. It's pyromania turned public art.

For ten years, this group of Edmontonians have been experimenting with fire art and for them, it's become as much a tradition as the Silver Skate Festival is for Edmonton. This year, as one of the teams participating in Silver Skate's "Fire Sculpture" event, they spent three weeks building a 15-foot dire-wolf to match the theme "Land of the Golden Apples." Most of the production happens offsite, at home or in a friend's studio, but the sculpture is assembled on-site on the day of the burn.

(CBC Arts)

Lead designer Loren Albrecht was drawn to the idea of fire sculpture because of its semi-permanence. And fellow artist Dina Dumonceaux isn't at all bothered by the fact that the artwork takes weeks to create and just minutes to disappear. Fire art allows her to use all of her creativity. "You can really go where your imagination leads to...because you're going to let it go, you're going to burn it down and you're going to cheer while it happens," she says.

In this video by filmmaker Tamarra Canu featuring drone footage by Mat Mathews, follow the pyro-sculptors as they collect, design and build this year's blazing masterpiece.

Watch Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

About the Author

Tamarra Canu

Tamarra Canu is an amateur filmmaker taking big steps in her career. She has recently worked on one of CBC’s The Nature of Things newest films named Vital Bonds and is now a member of another high profile documentary to air on CBC in 2019. Fun fact: she started her career at CBC News Edmonton as an Associate Producer, and is extremely proud to be staying close to home in her own craft.

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