Social Engagement & Activism > Meditations: A Collaborative Project

Kirsten Furlong, charcoal drawing, collaboration, meditation on hope, meditation beads
drawing with meditation beads by Kirsten Furlong
charcoal on paper
12" diameter

From Kirsten Furlong:
"Although I often work in solitude in my studio, the current climate of isolation and stress due to Covid 19 along with the daily difficult conversations and work around the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racist labor has made for an unprecedented situation of separation and difficulty. Taking Anika's work into my studio created a bridge between our practices as artists as well as shared expression and mutual respect. I started the process of drawing first by handling the object she had created in a way that was familiar to me as a gallery director - laying out the work on the paper and adjusting it as one may when creating a display and allowing the beads to mark the paper. This was followed by handling the beads in a more ritual way to feel the surface of the textures of charcoal and metal and contemplate the resemblance to a rosary. And finally, I considered how the object could be used in a ritual way to create a drawing that becomes an index of the movement and manipulation of the beads. It is interesting to me that the charcoal beads also mark the users hands, their use becoming more and more visible on the body of the person with repeated prayer / worry. I lastly created the charcoal drawing of the dandelion, inspired by the object that Anika had made with the dandelion leaves and seeds but also referencing the tenacity and endurance of this plant. The drawing simultaneously represents the dandelion root, leaves, and flowers and the states of budding, flowering and going to seed."

Drawing and Photograph by Kirsten Furlong

Kirsten Furlong: