Catch a Stick of Fire II, 2021aluminum, hardware, glazed stoneware clay, coral bell plants, soil, sunlight, h2o; care

Photos: Scott Lynch; Sofie Kjørum Austlid

For Jeffrey Meris, self-care includes propagating, cultivating, nurturing plants. Catch a Stick of Fire II, draws from a personal ritual of Self-Care Saturdays that provided him psychological sanctuary over the past year’s dual crisis of continued violence against Black individuals and the global pandemic. Aluminum tubes spring up and out from a central axis, mirroring the common branching botanical architecture. Ceramic vessels shaped to reference the Mario video game series character Bullet Bill, punctuate the end of each arm and provide a container for coral bells plantings. While the cartoon rendering of a bullet camouflages this element’s inherent violence, Meris’ appropriation of the popular character as a holder for plant life suggests regeneration and growth as necessary counters to systemic violences.

Instagram Takeover

About the Artist

*Jeffrey Meris is a 2021 New York Community Trust Van Lier Artist Fellow

Jeffrey Meris (b. Haiti, 1991) is an artist who earned an AA in Arts and Crafts from the University of The Bahamas in 2012, a BFA in Sculpture from the Tyler School of Art in 2015, and an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University in 2019. Meris is a Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture 2019 alum. Meris has exhibited at Matthew Brown in Los Angeles, James Cohan Gallery in Tribeca, White Columns in New York, The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco; Halle 14 in Leipzig, Germany; The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Mestre Projects, and the D’Aguilar Art Foundation, all in Nassau, Bahamas, among other venues. Meris was a 2020 NXTHVN Studio Fellow.


Instagram: @jeffreymeris

Audio Guide

Click below to listen to the artist speak about their work.

Audio transcript available upon request.