Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $15,000
Rosemary Feit Covey
Chester Creates LLC
Old Town Editions
Red Handed is a complete gallery installation project combining drawings printed on both hand and commercial printers, then made into vinyl mats that overlap and create a site specific ever enlarging seamless image. The exploration in media and method has evolved and includes columns, wall-wrapped images and an all encompassing floor piece – the major part of the installation- which forces the viewer to walk on the art.
The project continues to grow with new sections created in 2015 for an installation at Johns Hopkins Evergreen Museum and as a commissioned center piece for Culture Summit 2017 in Abu Dhabi.
Referencing Dore, Goya and Picasso’s Guernica – Red Handed raises issue of collective versus personal guilt. Walking on the art increases the sense of disquiet and is an integral part of the concept.
This has brought up issues for viewers which have often been extremely moving. For example , one vet sat with his family near the project and we overheard him telling them for the first time of his guilt over his actions in Viet Nam. For all survivors of suicide the question of guilt opens a maw that fills and envelopes adding to the pain, shock and sorrow. A murder has been committed where the murderer can not be blamed. The past becomes the framework for constant reexamination. I had to ask myself – why did this image spring whole from my imagination? I had to wait and allow my thoughts to unearth the past. Guilt is the most personal of emotions and universal only when we take it on ourselves before we look at the rest.
When I work on a project I have artistic goals but sometimes need technical help in executing. As a fine artist my budget is usually small. I seek those in industry who believe in the work and understand the challenges. Chester was such a person. I found him by checking local printers, till a young man at one of them suggested I contact him. This project was our joint effort to put together my artistic vision with his skills. Although I paid him, his rates were fair and his commitment unending. I would say he became a collaborator in the true sense. We used large format printers and thin vinyl to create an overlapping design that could roll up like a carpet for transport purposes. The design was created to break up repetition and create a sense of depth. The project in Abu Dhabi was designed to fit a space 25×40 feet.
In the past I have worked on similar projects. The 0 Project, wrapped building, was part of an installation at Burning Man, has been used by a circus troupe, a dance troupe and at a human justice conference in Reno. It is currently being re-worked for inclusion in an interactive event with the Canales Project.