Above: Hand press-molded adobe bricks, one salvaged fired brick. On view at Sawyer Yards Art Alley now through Sept. 2019

Temple to the Original (I) is a tribute to a brick recovered from the remains of a demolished Houston bridge. Other bricks salvaged from the old bridge, still in good shape, have continued their working lives; they have been reincorporated into the walkways of Sawyer Yards. This brick, however, is disfigured, dysfunctional, and is therefore regarded now as no more than vestigial debris, to be buried or otherwise forgotten about.

Yet in its ruin there is also beauty and age. This brick was once regular. Cast from a master copy, on the surface it was the same as all the others, but was inherently different in its composition and singular experience. It was born of a single purpose: to be built with in tandem with other regular bricks, a function it can presumably no longer perform. Temple to the Original (I) treats this misshapen old brick as venerable rather than disposable, using it as a master copy for production of a new generation made in it’s own image. The resulting construction is an ode to the simultaneously ubiquitous and individual: the brick can be an analogy for architectural, human, and natural legacy, as well as ephemerality.