The opening reception for the "Beasts" series show at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA was wonderful and exciting and overwhelming. I was, however, struck by something while showing a few individuals my show this past week. I wonder whether much of the pertinant messages of the works may have been lost that big night. I have developed a sort of visual scavenger hunt to try to highlight some of the themes that are woven into the fabric of the works. If you are local to Worcester,Ma and would like to meet up with me at the theatre to see if you can find the elements I list below please contact me and we can arrange a time. The gallery room where the show hangs is off limits to the general public but a meeting with the ArtsWorcester staff (508-755-5142) or myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) can be arranged to gain access to the show.
Incorporated into the pieces are reminders of our shared cultural values. These values butt up against the industrial and financial practices our community and political leaders carry out. These practices impact life for all of us on this planet we share and sometimes run counter to one another. It is this tension that I elude to throughout many of the pieces in the "Beasts" series. Can you find examples of them in the pieces?
"Humans are a cultured and civilized species"
- find a tea party set with china cups
- find wallpaper patterns featuring abstracted natural beauty. Ask yourself where this type of wallpaper is often found.
- Can you find the evidence of hand written letters and cherished literature? What habits of life from the past do we still practice and what has replaced them?
"Religion gives us our guidance to be godly beings"
- find a Madonna-like figure
- find a Tree of Life image (used by Christian teachers of Biblical stories during the Spanish Conquest)
- find Mandalas (used as a mediation tool by Buddhist practitioners)
- find a pagoda (used in most East Asian communities as a religious structure)
"Commerce brings wealth to all layers of society"
- how many pieces contain vintage food labels and advertisements?
- how many food labels that you find would not be possible without the work of the honeybee and other pollinating insects?
- can you find Monopoly money?
"We value our heritage, often handed down through folk arts and hand made traditions"
- Can you find traditional design patterns from African tribal dress?
- Can you find evidence of hand embroidery?
- Can you find vintage sewing patterns?
"We feed the hungry and heal the sick"
- Can you find food stamps?
- Can you find examples of endangered plants and trees often used in traditional medicines and researched for their healing properties?
"We make sense out of chaos in order to understand our world"
- Can you find places that I used a grid pattern to mimic the categorization of species and specimens often found in Natural History museums and laboratories?
- Can you find illustrations cut from vintage text books and field books of insects and birds and plant life?
...and finally, how many endangered and at risk species can you name?
I am planning a meet-up at the gallery in the Hanover Theatre on December 30th at 10am.
Please join me to view the show and search for these and other clues in the works!