Back in October, a client of mine invited me to enter an art piece for a gallery exhibition. He runs an arts non-profit called Inwood Art Works and their initiative is to cultivate the rising arts community in Northern Manhattan. You can check out their site here if you’re curious.
The theme was called “Bridging the Invisible Divide.” All artistic pieces had to be 8″ x 10″ and interpret the various divides between communities today. This resonated with me being in tune with mass media’s constant discussion about the fractiousness existing among us. We embrace the notion of diversity and individualism, but when it comes to interacting with others who are different in opinion and thought, that’s where things get ‘lost in translation’ and we turn into cliques warring with one another. Whether it’s about current politics or the movie Batman vs Superman, there is an invisible wall that exhausts more than strengthens.
When I’m not freelancing for web sites (design, develop, maintenance) I indulge my visual artistic tendencies through crafting. Sewing is a favorite of mine and I accumulated a TON of patterns over the years. I look at them and think there is a variety of potential canvases to do something cool and conceptual. I also like the idea of creating art with dual purpose, work that can be used AND displayed at once. For this exhibit’s size dimensions, a zippered pouch was the most practical way to go. The material to make it in was a no-brainer too; what better exhibits an ‘invisible divide’ than clear vinyl? For my image, I wanted it bold, graphic and simple, kind of as a call-back to Saul Bass and mid-20th century graphic design.
It’s about the basic human act of conversation that is over-complicated by the very things that are celebrated and encouraged; individualism and diversity. Two colors on the opposite sides of the pouch speaking the same words to one another and achieving the same conclusion, but they never meet and merge. There is a false sense of consensus due to the clear vinyl and being split from front to back.
The special thing about this piece is that it can be used as a working zipper pouch. I have also installed rings on each end so a wrist/shoulder strap can be attached and tun the piece into a purse. The canvas I hung this on has clasps to hook into the rings for displaying purposes.
I’m happy to say that not only was my piece accepted into the group exhibition, it also got a brief mention in The Manhattan Times’s review of the show. SO EXCITING! 🙂
This has been such a great experience I may produce another one and make this a series exploring the ‘invisible divide.’ Stay tuned!