Like a rogue jet stream taking a flight off course, Covid-19 is sending some of us to lands previously unknown. That’s how I got here. Miniature Installation Suite #2 (MIS#2) is now complete (you can read about Miniature Installation Suite #1 here) and now this 1:12 scale work is something I’ll be adding to my wheelhouse.
I thought it would be a one-and-done deal after the first Installation but the social media reception was positive and encouraging. And frankly, I was hooked. Other than reimagining full-scale vintage and antique furniture for my company Hollis Newton on the weekends, I couldn’t think of anything else constructively I’d rather be doing with months of Saturdays wide open due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
A few notes about MIS#2. While MIS#1 was all about trying a variety of things, MIS#2 was about scaling back on the number of miniatures to allow for more visual breathing space and viewer interpretation. I still tried a few new things like replicating some iconic vintage pieces, namely the Robin Day Sofa and the Pierre Guariche coffee table. I also tried my hand at a miniature Beni Ourain rug and mudcloth pillows.
Shortly after finishing my first piece for the installation, Black Lives Matter protesters around the globe took to the street to march against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against Black, Indigenous and other people of colour. It’s a matter that I’ve always been concerned about by virtue of my skin tone to start, but this time the movement just felt different. Amidst the sadness and grief there was also hope. I wanted to pay tribute to the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd by including their portraits in this installation. Tragically there are so many more senselessly lost lives that would cover the walls of any national art gallery.
I also wanted to give a hat tip to Gordon Parks, Nina Simone and Thelonious Monk. I included miniature versions of their biographies, and in Gordon Parks case, a retrospective of his work. Each of these artists, along with many others of their era, used their platform to advocate for change during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. I’ve always had great admiration for artists that link social movements with their artistic expression.
And one final note. This new medium has introduced me to some wonderful artists and craftspeople. I included their Instagram accounts below and hope to add to the list as time goes on.