Matchwork is a body of mixed-media drawings and assemblages on paper incorporating wooden matches created by Sasha Chavchavadze during the course of working on the Museum of Matches project.
Matchwork employs wooden matches as both medium and image. A disappearing artifact, wooden matches evoke the volatility of the Cold War, suggesting fragmentation and loss. When placed in patterns matches lend themselves to the rhythmic language of music and the geometries of physics.
Matchwork has been exhibited in galleries, including a one-person show at the Kentler International Drawing Space and an installation at the Rotunda Gallery, both in Brooklyn. Matchwork is a central visual element of the Cold War Room and has been reproduced with narrative prose in readings/slide presentations, in art and culture magazines and in a book to be published by Proteotypes in 2010.
“Since I am not an historian, I searched for visual forms for insight into my father’s life and career. I began to draw matches, then to glue wooden match sticks perpendicularly to paper in grids and patterns. Sometimes I rolled the paper, forcing the matches to conform to the surface, creating three-dimensional forms that resembled architectural models or topographical maps. I often visualized "matchwork" as I awoke, the project ballooning. The meditative process felt like planting seedlings. Tiny units of energy that can save a life or kill, matches evoke both the nurturing and the destructive sides of human nature.”