"You Are Here" is a show about how artists interpret place and how place can be a physical location but also a state of mind. The piece I'm showing is a representation of my bedroom at one moment in time called Our Bedroom on Westminster Street. You'll see it up on the stage of the gallery. I conceived of the project almost like a stage set, except that parts of it will be facing away from you. It's my bedroom, but flattened out, so the bedroom window and radiator are pasted flat on the wall and the dresser and vacuum cleaner are 2-D cutouts that are freestanding. I wanted the viewer to stand in the middle of this room and read it like a visual novel, looking at these objects that belong to two people and trying to imagine who these people are.
There's a new project of mine, a story about a fictional character named Lucas who's a teenage boy, and the project is a portrait of a character through objects in his life. There's sculptures of clothes piles as if he threw his outfit on the floor. The clothes pile sculptures are titled After School, After Work, and After the Funeral. In the midst of these sculptures is the story of a friend who's died and your first experience with death, how that produces a moment in time in your life.
I had a flash of insight where I realized that I wanted to be a storyteller. I want to create the experience of learning a place and characters and having a story grow in your mind. The way that we interact with place is a very interesting way to read a person. Just by living in a space, you consciously and unconsciously mold it in a self-portrait.
BE THERE "You Are Here," featuring the work of Kevin Frances and several other artists, opens at the New Art Center in Newton on January 15. For more information, visit newartcenter.org.