We always knew spark plugs were the real power players under the hood. But artist Caroline F. Kearns’ work puts a whole new spin on it. Inspired by mechanical and technological devices and themes, Kearns has created a series of prints, paintings and sculptures that feature spark plugs as dragon flies battling their natural nemesis – the Venus fly trap.
A reoccurring theme in Kearns’ work is the supposed struggle between the natural world and technology. The villain is the Venus fly trap in Kearns’ spark plug-inspired series. But her work often combines mechanical and technological elements featuring human qualities with the monsters and heroes of Greek mythology.
“In these pieces, the pseudo-technological creatures are slain by the usual Greek heroes who remain vulnerably human,” says Kearns, who studied printmaking and ceramic sculpture at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C. “Such monsters appear in our modern myths when we are confronted by a menacing technology which has surpassed us in strength and intelligence. The resolution of this conflict demands that we artistically engage these monsters in order to regain control of technology for the continued benefit of our society.”
One particularly interesting series depicts the mythic battle between Perseus and Medusa and makes use of a distributor cap and sparkplug wires to form Medusa’s head. Other works feature mechanical components including spark plugs, distributor caps, and exhaust headers playfully or humorously animating technological themes.
Interested in Kearns’ pieces? Check out her website and tell her E3 Spark Plugs sent you.