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The Rest
By Shelly Denning and Asia Youngs-Bailey
Wood, Fabric, Lexan, LED Panel, LED Strips, Speaker, iPad, Cardboard, Newspaper, Newsprint, Paint Markers, Hand Sanitizer, Latex Paint
8’ x 8’ x 3’

Our sculpture is a partially-enclosed environment built from a wood frame covered in cardboard and newspaper. “Trigger words” related to current events add to the newspaper collage on the exterior of the structure. An LED panel spotlights the front panel and encourages visitors to interact with the piece via paint markers set nearby on a stool. Hand sanitizer is also available for guest use. The interior of the piece contrasts the exterior with a calming glow of cool greenish-blue light that illuminates the sheer white fabric lining the inner cavity. Ambient music drowns out exterior noise. Guests are further encouraged to interact by using additional paint markers to leave messages on the backlit pane of frosted lexan across from the enclosed section of the booth.

These days, the United States is more divisive than ever. Between politics, COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter, the opportunities for disagreement are endless. Those fighting for their voice to be heard are met with even louder voices. The weight of the world seems to be heavier than ever. Our sculpture asks viewers to examine the world around them and how it affects their mental well-being. We provide a place where people can retreat from this world for just a moment: a place to reset and just breathe.

The exterior of the structure symbolizes the ugliness of the world and the words that are thrust in our faces daily. Its sharp-edges, box-like shape and chaotic decoration are impossible to ignore. Entering the inviting glow of the chamber and hearing the calming music provides each participant a brief moment in which the burdens of the world can fall away, leaving them at peace. It is our sincere hope that each person will carry with them a bit of the tranquility that they discovered within our sculpture.

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