Wall space is an intervention commissioned by Headlands Center for the Arts, that transforms the Californian sun and the shadows it casts into ink or paint for artists and writers to express themselves.
Headlands Center for the Arts is located in the Marin Headlands, just above San Francisco. The arts center is housed in white painted wood slatted army barracks that date from the end of the nineteenth century. The wood slats on the wall of the buildings recall traditional movie marquees and prove to be a great place to hide rails onto which interchangeable letters or shapes can be clipped with metal springs. The letters are mad from aluminum mesh that lets the light through and also casts shadows. The front side is painted in the color of the wall. The back is painted in black or bright colors to enhance or dye the shadows of the letters. So it is their shadow rather than the letters that the eye sees, the aluminum letters themselves blend with the color of the wall. When cloudy the letters remain legible, as their shadows become a foggy blur.
This first installation features a poem written by American Indian poet Wendy Rose. It evokes the times before the European missionaries occupied the Bay Area. Every few months another artist or writer is invited to create a piece for the wall, so that in time, the wall turns into the pages of an ever-growing book of poems and illustrations.
Photos: Studio Chris Kabel and Robert Divers Herrick