Living Table at Navy Pier
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Living Table at Navy Pier

Thawalls at Navy Pier, Chicago winter into spring, 2017.

Living Table 2017, installation view

For THAWALLS, a group exhibition at Navy Pier co-curated by Three Walls and Links Hall, Cream Co. presented Living Table: a multi-dimensional work where visitors were invited to share a table made from a cabinet of curiosities, including paintings, a sky-seeing station, plucked petal piles, a pinch-and-sniff scent sampler, suffering succulents, notecards, pens and a bulletin board.

Pinch and Sniff Scent Sampler

Scented geraniums and fragrant herbs planted in paint pots made from acrylic paint and marble dust became a treasure hunt of sorts. Visitors were invited to rub the fragrant leaves and asked: how many scents can you find? and can you smell what time it is? These living clocks aimed to invite real and imaginative play and to present time in concrete form.

Suffering Succulents

Each leaf of any succulent can become a new succulent and even the sickliest of specimens can become an abundant crop of thriving plants. When deprived of soil and water, a succulent will tap its inner resources and sprout new roots. After the roots reach out, still suffering and looking for sustenance, a withering leaf bursts forth with a fresh set of leaves and a succulent is born. When the new plant has tapped all of its inner resources and the dying leaf has no life left, then the new plant, fresh roots and leaves, is ready to be planted.

Living Table, Sky-Seeing Station, detail

With it’s lens facing Lake Michigan, the Sky-Seeing Station offered a singular way to see the color of the sky framed by the color of the water.

notes pinned by public to bulletin board

Over the course of the exhibition, visitors left notes for Cream Co., for Thawalls and for each other. Some notes were love letters to the city, other were direct responses to the piece. The notes, which numbered in the thousands, revealed many diverse and multi-lingual voices. By and large, the notes, together, revealed a community tone that was respectful and rejoiceful.

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