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Lauren Witt

ENG 002-3: Composition

Professor VanderMey

The piece that stood out to me as I walked into the Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, was the
piece named Color of Hope. This piece was the largest sculpture in the room, one that
everyone took time to intently observe. It was tall as well as long. The piece was on the wall and
was made up of three separate panels combined into one. The top of the piece was made up of
folded pieces of tire. The middle of the piece was where the piece had a chaotic feel to it. On the
bottom of the piece, loose pieces of tire uncurled outward. It was all made up of tires from cars
and motorcycles. The color of the tire pieces was a matte black color to it. The texture of the tires
varied from smooth to rough and coarse. The structure of the piece had a lot of overlapping
features to it. There were multiple layers to it. This piece was a little chaotic because it had a lot
going on. It had big rubber loops as well as long and thin tendrils that unfurled from the piece.
The spirals might bring about a sense of dynamic energy to the piece.
The Color of Hope piece had a theme of complexity to it. You had to observe the piece
for a while to try and get a theme out of it. The multiple layers of the piece also added to the
complexity of it. Another theme of this piece was abstraction. This piece had a lot of abstract
qualities to it, which made the viewer have their own personal opinion about it. Another theme of
this piece could be irony because you wouldnt assume that black would symbolize hope.

Obviously, the main theme of the piece is hope. Chakaia Booker believed that the color
of her piece symbolized the color of hope. If Chakaia thought that black symbolized hope, then
there should be something that the observer would see that would draw them to that same
conclusion. When most people think of what the color of hope is, they normally wouldnt
normally assume it to be black. Black symbolizes the complete opposite of hope. Black can
symbolize negativity, death, grief, evil, hatred, etc. In most cultures, blue, yellow, or white are
the colors that hope is commonly associated with. In the Christian faith, purple can symbolize
hope. In the Bible, Jesus finally coming to earth was something that people hoped for. The time
of advent was a time of hope as well.
This piece had an overwhelming feel to it because it was so large. You needed to take
time to vigorously think about the piece and how you felt about it. I honestly felt like I couldnt
see the sense of hope that Chakaia could see when she created this piece. I think that Chakaia
created this piece only as an ironic piece of art. Maybe she wanted the viewer to overthink the
concept of how the color of hope is black.

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