How do we create safe public spaces which invite authentic emotions and community healing?
Nest was an interactive performance and textile installation created for Perform Chinatown 2015 in Los Angeles. A large nest and canopy were created using lace and other light-weight, light-colored textiles prioritizing recycled materials. Objects reminiscent of weightlessness such as feathers, cushions, paper fans, ribbons, altered book sculptures, ribbons, flowers, and interactive objects were positioned around the nest and canopy to give the installation multiple layers for exploration.
On the outside of the nest, river stones were positioned alongside non-toxic pens offering visitors an opportunity to inscribe the stone with a “weight” such as a trauma, loss, or struggle in their life. These stones would later be placed into the LA river where the words would eventually wash away.
Inside the nest, visitors were met with a calm, nurturing environment in which to rest as well as incubate thoughts, memories, and inspirational musings. Several lengths of satin ribbon as well as pens were attached to the interior roof of the canopy with an invitation to inscribe words of hope. By the end of the day, dozens of messages- addressed to loved ones and strangers alike- floated from the ceiling of the nest.
For those seeking support, assistance, comfort, or instruction, four Nest Guides were on hand activating the space with dances, performances, songs, poems and general kindnesses. As night fell, the installation became illuminated by hundreds of white LED fairy lights.
At the end of the performance and installation (spanning 8 hours), visitors to Nest were invited to attach the lengths of ribbon to the ends of white balloons which were released into the night sky with the hope of dispersing messages of inspiration and joy to far off places.
Nest Guides: Sea Salem, Roxanne Olivia Abell, Tristan MacDonald Nieto, Mirabelle Jones
Special Thanks to: Curator Molly Shea, Zero Prefect, Ilyria Exene Elliot, Marissa Lynn, Tamarix, Sasha, Andrew Berardini, Matt Cadwalladder