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CreateSpace Public Art Residency – Project Concept

I am so excited to be part of the 2022 CreateSpace Public Art Residency. My initial concept for the public art project that I described in the application is as follows:

During the pandemic, I see a lot of divisiveness in our society and if I look at the root causes, I find thoughts and emotions rooted in fear which are common to all human beings, regardless of race, identify, physical ability, etc. My project concept is to have audio recording of a collection of people’s deepest fears. I want to create a space that represent our mind and play these recordings as if these are the chatters in our brain. Then the participants can move to a different space where they will write down the thoughts and emotions they would like to replace these fears with on strings of ribbons and tie these ribbons to a wishing tree. I imagined this to take place at the plaza outside the Richmond Cultural Center with lots of trees surrounding it. At the end of the project, I would weave these ribbons into a tapestry of hope that represent the choices that we have every moment by choosing to think and act based on love rather than fear.

I really enjoy bouncing off ideas with STEPS advisors during our first one-on-one meeting and working out my project concept in more details. Here’s a concept sketch of my project.

This is going to be a multi-stage project. First I will need to contact the city to get permission to use the space outside of the Richmond Cultural Centre where there are a lot of trees and space. I will set up a dark room (maybe it’s a tent with dark fabric covering it) that people can enter and hear the recordings. Because there will be speakers, I’ve decided to install this public art project during BC Culture Days weekend (Sept 24-25, 2022) and be present at the location.

The dark room and the recording represent the mind chatter. Maybe I will not just record fears because there will be children. Rather, I will invite people to notice what the voice in our brain is saying. I find a lot of my own mind chatter is to-do lists, going over things to do, judging things, worries, etc.

People then exit the dark room/tent from the opposite side. They will have to physically draw aside the curtain and come face to face with the beautiful tree-lined space. This act in my mind represents opening ourselves up to the vastness and spaciousness of nature and our true being. This is freeing, liberating and maybe these can be the working title of my project.

Under the trees, there will be a table with ribbons and markers. People can write their hopes and dreams on the ribbons and tie the ribbons on a tree (need to get permission for this too).

The tent and speakers will be there for the BC Culture Days weekend but the ribbon can stay for a week to a month. After which I will collect the ribbons and weave them into a tapestry of hope.

I really like the idea that each one of us is a thread in a huge, beautiful tapestry and our every thought, word, and action can touch another thread/being in a positive or negative way and the choice is totally ours to make.

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