New Multimedia Installation at the Bandshell

October 6, 2022

BRIC and Prospect Park Alliance in partnership with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program present a new installation by Sarah E. Brook at the Lena Horne Bandshell at Prospect Park. The Need You Know It Is A Letting Light is a set of three abstract wooden sculptures and an accompanying mural that expand the artist’s exploration of communication between external and internal psychic space. This is the first time sculpture will be present alongside a mural at the bandshell. The installation will be on view from Saturday, October 15, 2022 – Friday, May 5, 2023 with an opening celebration on Sunday, October 16 from 11am – 1pm. RSVP encouraged.

“Prospect Park Alliance is honored to once again partner with BRIC and the NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program to bring this monumental multimedia work to Brooklyn’s Backyard,” said James Snow, Interim President of Prospect Park Alliance. “It is wonderful to have the opportunity to bring art to our community year-round at the Lena Horne Bandshell, and we look forward to experiencing this piece throughout the coming season with our neighbors and visitors.”

“Sarah E Brook’s bandshell installation will be the largest commission so far for the artist and, like the two installations that came before it, engages with the social and political issues of the moment,” said Jenny Gerow, Curator of the mural and Contemporary Art Curator at BRIC. “A refreshing take on identity, the piece is less of a declaration of one’s self through figuration and instead a deep desire through form to engage and open up a discussion about how one’s identity is formed, such as through society and one’s environment. Brooks’ work is quiet and introspective and, in that quietness, a real sense of possibility.”

The mural’s colors of red, yellow, and green are sourced from the natural beauty of Prospect Park, and both draws viewers in from the park and radiates out from the Bandshell and stage into the park, reflecting the function of a bandshell to expand voices. The repurposed wood sculptures respond to the mural’s colors, expressing warm-hued shadows that appear to be held within. The sculptures’ material communicate their singularity through wear – a crooked nail, an empty hole, a worn edge – and in their gentle leaning formation, the sculptures can be read as bodies supporting one another.

Sculptural abstraction, for Brook, is based on a commitment to creating spaces for queer, gender nonconforming, and trans folks to experiment with embodied perception, encouraging and affirming a multisensory experience of being whole in the world. Brook’s geometric sculptural forms utilize salvaged wood that both contains the history and identity of each particular piece and expands that singularity outward through painted gradients. They communicate the possibility of a selfhood that can be known and shared, and is, in fact, capable of moving beyond the confines of a body and environment.

Specificity for Brook is key to the possibility of vastness – it is not by leaving the particular self behind, but by moving deeply into the exact needs, desires, and knowings of that self that creates a path toward perceiving a wider world of creatively expanded possibilities. The specific and the infinite are intimately entwined. Brook’s relationship to expanding space is both personal and contextual, formed by the world around us. Nature, for Brook, is often a muse for testing out these possibilities, and the New York City park system has become a site for many of their interventions in space. Their understanding of expansiveness is influenced by their childhood in the Nevada desert as well as pioneering land and light artists of the Western United States Nancy Holt, Larry Bell, and Agnes Martin.

Brook is a longtime collaborator of BRIC; they were a BRIClab Artist-in-Residence in 2018 and a part of the 2019 BRIC Biennial in 2019.

Learn more about Brook and The Need You Know It Is A Letting Light