New London's Hygienic Art opens a new multimedia exhibit Friday night.
The inspiration for Gaia's Lament: Art Cry came from last fall's People's Climate March in New York City. Hygienic's guest curator, sculptor Renee Rhodes was at the climate march and was moved by the moment of silence observed by the hundreds of thousands of marchers. But what happened next floored her - impromptu wailing from the crowd.
"It was the most astounding experience I've ever had in my life," said Rhodes, "it was spontaneous, it was an outcry, it was outrage, it was howling and crying. It was really a phenomenal moment."
That experience is the impetus behind Gaia's Lament: Art Cry - a huge installation at Hygienic Art conceived by Rhodes. Painting, sculpture, photography, as well as poetry and dance pieces were created specifically for the exhibit, and focus on the Nature Conservancy's list of 8 consequences of climate change.
According to Greek mythology, Gaia is the mother goddess that created earth. It is also the name of Renee Rhodes giant bronze sculpture in Hygienic's art park. Rhodes expects this exhibit to transcend the usual, salient talking points about the dangers of global warming.
"Art is able to communicate very deep messages in a language that goes beyond reason and in a way that people can understand immediately," said Rhodes.
Gaia's Lament: Art Cry opens Friday night at New London's Hygienic Art with a reception, as well as a spoken word and hip-hop dance performance.