Signs of the resistance are everywhere including The Coal Shop: Brooklyn Workshop Gallery. I strolled in on the first spring-like Sunday and was caught off guard by Spring A.I.R., new works and works-in-progress by artists-in-residence Signe Bresling Rudolfsen and William Storms. Rudolfsen, a painter, and Storms, a weaver, working both individually and collaboratively captured the crucial interweaving of humanity. The artists-in-residence primarily explored contrast, but even then couldn’t escape interconnectedness. The works, compromised mainly of threads and lines on separate tracks, illuminate a stark reality even in the places where those lines intersect.
Old Dominion Stripe by Storms best depicts that interweaving in raw statistical terms. Each thread represents 1 of 102 fatal police shooting in Virginia over a 6 year period assembled in a database by The Virginian-Pilot. The colors of threads are coded to race; two different hues of grey representing Asian and Hispanic and gold for “unknown” race. The result is a tapestry that gives the viewer both perspective and accuracy, something lacking today. It is a troubling visual of the data on race and police shootings, especially given the demographics of Virginia. At first I walked past the tapestry unaware of it’s significance, but once I knew the code the message was clear. Storms taps the discrete power tapestry can have to challenge the assumptions of the viewer.
Continuity and intersection seemed to be the theme Signe Bresling Rudolfsen worked through her pieces. Waves of parallels curve and intersect with unmistakable human forms. They are connected but unequal. The artist works from the concept that the human condition is one of stark differences composed of the same material. Proving her work is approachable in its seriousness, she extends the theme of continuity to her perfectly circular necklaces.
Logically, Rudolfsen and Storms articulated their theme of interconnectedness best in collaboration. The artists interwove their forms on a tapestry entitled Together Here, that hangs in the window of the gallery. Spring A.I.R. ends April 16th. The Coal Shop: Brooklyn Workshop Gallery is located at 393 Hoyt St. in Brooklyn.