chapter  2
17 Pages

From production to performance

Candles, creativity and connectivity
WithMarion Bowman

Recognising material culture as 'the way in which an object participates in making and sustaining a life-world', this chapter examines some of the creative, tangible ways in which contemporary beliefs, practices and worldviews are expressed, encapsulated and enacted in different ways by, through and with material culture in the form of candles. It draws on production in relation to candles, specifically the contrasting examples of tea lights and the Glastonbury Candle, materially both combinations of wax and wick. Tea lights have focused attention on the productive work that lies in people's actions and intentions, the relationality and connectivity enacted and maintained through these material objects with other human beings, with other-than-human beings, and with the past and place. The production, manufacture and marketing of the Glastonbury Candle and its paraphernalia are highly intentional, specialised and context-specific. The candle's medium, wax with a wick, 'affords or allows certain possibilities and produces certain kinds of effects'.