Location: Tarapoto, Peru
Completion date: 2018
In true celebration of life; La Mente; (The Mind) is a giant brain-shaped sculpture depicting the beauty of conception and reproduction among nature’s diverse lifeforms. The exterior of La Mente comprises of sculpted scenes illustrating the multifaceted nature of ‘conception’ beginning with a scene of sperm fertilizing an egg which then moves on to show embryos of different sizes and varieties giving life to a variety of other scenes ranging from the conceptual (eg a man and a woman independently dreaming of pregnancy) through to scenes depicting the primal and animalistic nature of sexuality in nature.
La Mente was created as a sculpture and functional building in TierraMitica’s lifecycle-themed sculpture park. The primary goal of this project was to create a spectacular sculpture utilizing the ‘Collective Art’ approach Misfits Unified has developed in recent years. La Mente is an example of an art installation and functional building which can be created in a public space utilizing the public in an event such as community art workshop or festival.
The intention of the ‘Collective Art’ approach is to welcome participation from the general public (ie not restricted only to artists or ‘creative people’) in every stage of the creative process from the initial development of concept and vision right through to sculpting the final scenes. In this manner a key goal of La Mente was to provide instruction and guidance to the participants (majority of whom did not have prior sculpting or painting background) and an environment of collaboration and learning so that every participant feels equal pride, contribution and accomplishment over the final result.
In addition to the creative goals, the functional goal of La Mente was to create an interior environment suitable for a fully functioning recording studio.
Central to the collaboration process of Misfits Unified Collective Art projects is the principle that participation is open to any willing participant irrespective of prior artistic background or ability – this was central to the collaboration process of La Mente. In this manner, each stage of the creative process was undertaken collectively, eliciting the vision and inspiration of all participants in a manner where the ideas of each participant were reflected in the final result. From the onset, the initial idea for the building to be a giant brain and the resulting scenes was a culmination of the views and ideas of the participants. In the creative process, participants worked collectively to sculpt and paint the sculpture inside and out.
The sculpting process involved the project manager providing instruction and guidance to the participants which enabled them to confidently start sculpting the scenes, from there, in true collective energy each of the participants shared technique and inspiration throughout the creative process. Amazingly each of the resulting scenes, and individual sculptures within each scene, received input and contribution by many participants with the end result carrying the signature of many people in the form of their individual artistic contribution.
One of the main factors that inspires Misfits Unified to pursue our Collective Art projects and events is the idea that anybody has the capacity to produce beautiful art, and when working together, the results are exponentially more incredible than what a person can achieve alone. We have discovered that this method of doing art not only provides the opportunity for people to participate, but brings people and communities together for a truly magical experience, for both participants and bystanders, in the form of a community festival or workshop.