Photo by Spike Mafford

Burn: A Musing on Impermanence. 2010. Assembled underglazed, metal oxide stained, and glazed ceramic; oil paint. 29”Hx19”Wx19”D.

The same thing that first attracted me to sculpting the markhor - its magnificent spiraling horns, which can reach up to 1.5m (60”) in length - is what makes it a prized trophy animal. The markhor is endangered, but small numbers can still be found in the mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

In this piece, a sacrificial goat sits atop a world turned upside down. There are three alcoves on the globe representing different points in time: The early sixth century when giant Buddhas were first carved into the cliffs of Bamyan, a few centuries later after time had worn away some of the surfaces, and after 2001 when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas – the tallest of which stood 180 feet high. The globe sits on a pyre of ceramic horns lit with opium poppy flames.

Information on threats and conservation

Photo by Michael Shaich
Photo by Spike Mafford
Photo by Spike Mafford