Burning Nest is the UK's regional Burning Man event. It's a relatively small but committed community of "Burners" who apply the same principles of Burning Man - Radical Inclusion, Leave no Trace, Radical Self-Reliance, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-Expression and so on - to their own small but vibrant week-long event.
As with any such event, the Temple sculpture and Effigy sculpture form the physical and emotional pinnacle of the event. The Temple is a place for quiet contemplation, reflection, acceptance and letting go that, in our increasingly busy and tumultuous world - and country - is particularly valuable. As with all "burn" events, a share of the money from ticket sales goes into creating artwork for the event, in the form of art grants. This year, though, we need to raise extra funds to build the Temple we think is possible, called PASSAGE.
As Burning Nest settles in to its stunning new home in Dorset, now is the perfect time to create something really special, on a scale that Burning Nest hasn't seen before.
PASSAGE is a one-level structure made entirely of old wooden doors; a twisting passageway to a central chamber that can only be reached through trial, error, success and progress.
As a participant approaches, the structure will spread out before them. They will pick a side of the structure to enter by, being offered on entrance on each side. Opening that first door leads them into a small room, with a different door forming each of the four walls. Trying each door, the participant will find that only one opens, leading them into a second room of doors. Through trial and error, trying each door in turn and progressing, little by little, participants will eventually be led to the central chamber.
Each day, those managing the structure will change the route to the chamber by opening some doors and fixing closed others, so that the experience is different each day of the event.
In the larger central chamber, participants can spend time in relative seclusion and contemplation. They can leave a mark or message on the structure or leave behind a note or item representing something that they wish to accept and let go of. The central chamber will also house a raised platform that, when climbed, provides a 360 degree view of the structure, allowing participants to survey their route to the chamber, guide others navigating their way through, and take in the beautiful surroundings of the site.
One side of the structure, for accessibility and health and safety reasons, will be left open and have wider entrances, allowing those in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues, as well as parents with infants and prams, to enter and exit the structure quickly and easily.
While the sculpture is open to interpretation, the process of trying each door, of progressing by learning from our failures and errors, provides a strong metaphor for our experiences both as individuals and as a species evolved over millions of years of fatal failure and occasional survival.
On the final night of Burning Nest, the Temple structure will be burnt to the ground, as is the ritual of all "burn" events. While a symbol of the transience of our existence and the importance of accepting that transience, the combination of symbolism can become a powerful story of our own extinction in the face of a warming planet.
While the project will receive an art grant from the Burning Nest Art Fund, this will only cover about a third of the estimated maximum costs of the sculpture.
All those working on the project are unpaid volunteers, so the costs are entirely for materials and transport, as follows:
Maximum Cost of Doors: £250
Maximum Cost of Frames and Central Platform: £500
Additional Materials: £50
Burning Nest Art Fund Grant: £300
Crowdfunding Target : £600
As far as possible we intend to use salvaged wood that cannot be repurposed after the project, thereby reducing the costs. These figures represent the maximum estimated cost.
As with all "burn" events, the Temple sculpture will be built and burned with a focus on leaving as little physical trace on the environment as possible. All metal and non-natural elements, such as paint, glass, metal and plastic, will be removed from the doors and as few screws and nails as possible will be used to build the structure. We will not use virgin wood. The doors will be hung with rope rather than metal hinges.
Thank you for reading this far! We would appreciate any amount you can offer to help make this sculpture a reality and help to gift the Burning Nest community its most impressive and meaningful Temple sculpture yet.