Fertile Grounds: of minds, of wombs and the earth

Submitted by Amber Robles-Gordon

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Client: The Nicholson Project

Location: Washington, DC, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $12,000

Project Team

Client

Amber Robles-Gordon

The Nicholson Project

Artist

Amber Robles-Gordon

Overview

This 3-dimensional, abstracted uterus represents how plastics and manmade materials have a deleterious physical, emotional, and ecological impact on the health of women and the earth.

Hanging from two triangular ceiling substrates, 12 X 12 feet (w) and 9 x 10 feet (l) to one triangular floor substrate by nylon rope are 13 multi-colored diamond, double helix-like fabric-wrapped talking stick formations. Each diamond consists of 10-13 sticks.

Underneath, are painted, plastic circular representations of fibroids, portions of grass sod and other unrecyclables. Collectively, this altar installation symbolizes the potency of our minds, bodies and the Earth.

Goals

A brainchild of DC-developer Stefanie Reiser; The Nicholson Project, is a paid artist residency, a neighborhood garden. The Nicholson Project is focused on supporting DC-based artist and to establish a creative space and innovative hub for the Ward 7 community. Additionally, the Project intends to explore and highlight the positive impact of art and design in communities. All artists-in-residence receive $2,000 per month and full-time access to a live/workspace in the restored single-family rowhouse. The house itself, a 10-minute walk east of the Anacostia River, sits in the Fairlawn neighborhood about ten minutes from Robles-Gordon’s Ward 8 home.
Additionally, Robles-Gordon, was commissioned to create this work, which debuted as an exhibition and celebration on Saturday, September 14 th, 2019, at 2310 Nicholson St. SE. This exhibition included other DC-based artists: Jefferson Pinder, Heather Theresa Clark, Beverly Price, Larry Cook and Vincent Rutherford Brown. The opening event attracted community residents, art aficionados, family and friends to several art installations, a studio tour, and performances by East River Jazz, DJ Jahsonic, and Hirshhorn ARTLAB as well as free produce grown on-site.

Process

I was approached by an organization called Dashboard US about two or three years ago. Dashboard is an art company that specializes in art curation, event design, and public art programming. Beth Malone, Executive Director of Dashboard US basically told me we love your artwork and we have to find the right funding and project to be able to pay you. Dashboard then introduced me to Stefanie Reiser, Founder and Executive Director of The Nicholson Project. It literally took years of staying in touch.