Raise / Cherry blossoms in winter /public art installation
December 1st 2016 - January 1st 2017
Branch Brook park, Newark N.J.
In collaboration with Rutgers University
Also at :
Coco-Mat Store, 49 Mercer street, Soho, NYC though January 30th 2017
About Raise project :
Sea creatures and school chairs - what do these disparate elements have in common? In this installation made with Liberian and Japanese fabrics, enigmatic animals are swimming on cotton sheets / flags. The chairs become passenger seats upon which the viewer embarks on an exotic and mysterious journey - on the back of each creature.
Several concepts inspired this project : one comes from one of my young sons, Odysseas, who often mind-travels to faraway places when he is in his classroom in Crete. I can imagine that when his teacher speaks of Ulysses' adventures on his return home to Ithaca, for example, my son is in the moment, alike many students, journeying in his imagination along with fantastic beasts through mysterious seas.
My own relationship with the sea and its creatures, its myths, and its stories also inspire my work. I come from an island where people naturally learn to live with the sea along with the solace - and the fear - it invokes.
What did create this need for traveling in my culture? How did we create all these myths, of leaving our homes, of meeting with demons, of diving in unknown waters?
I imagine how this fear of the unknown has given birth to legends featuring sea animals that travel the oceans carrying people with them - sailors, children, and voluntary adventurers.
And I can imagine waves of immigration where people are leaving their homes and fleeing toward the unknown. The fear of leaving without knowing your prospects or where you are going or what awaits you when you get there is symbolic, where the monster is fear.