For Martell's second exhibition, Dreamcatcher, (see Part l for his first) his attention turned more inward, pushing against the messages and realities of the pandemic, to focus on creating a new time for hope and inspiration.
As Martell, founder of Uni.Verse Studio, puts it, "I was seeing so much dreadful commentary on what was being called our 'new normal'. This exhibit was about resisting the idea that this mentality of fear and death had to be how we operate. Couldn't we could still dream and aspire toward something brighter for tomorrow?"
Martell surveyed people around the globe of various backgrounds, ages, and circumstances to find out how they were feeling about their own dreams and what they hope for the people around them.
"What does it mean to imagine something outside of yourself? How have our dreams, or the dreams of others molded the world we know?
The result of these contemplations was a constellation of cubes, each with 4 answers from a participant, to form a collective message of deep hope and wonder. The exhibition structure that held these thoughts was fittingly a spare black framework that seemed to disappear under an open sky.
The surreal placement and fantastical colors of the Escher-like cubes directed viewers to a glowing dreamcatcher portal. The analogy wasn't lost that one had to look up to make sense of the space as they moved forward towards an icy blue sphere to consider 'what's next'.
The intensity of the platform gave way to a fog-faded backdrop where artworks imbued a sense of curiosity, nostalgia, personal power, and bold optimism.
Dreams were defined here as those that are 'mine', 'yours', and 'ours' bringing a common ground humanity to all of us as individuals who are all part of a great community.
The works sparked conversation and communion among viewers, which gave people a sense of connectedness and hope.
"My favorite part" Martell recalls, "was watching people sit on the bench reflecting on the cubes. Reading the dreams and thoughts of others, they seemed to be adding their very own hopes and dreams and launching them into space to be caught and heard...
... Dreamcatcher was an acknowledgement that even in rough times, we share the universal ability to dream. The pandemic connected us all in our reality, but it would be the vivid colors of our dreams that painted the true story of how we'd overcome."
Click to learn more about Martell Hasley and the creative services and partnerships he's fostering at Uni. Verse Studio.
Inspired by Dreamcatcher, here are some Kelly-Moore paint colors that might foster your dreams and encourage you to make them come true. Enjoy!
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