Karrie Ross Creates an Experiential Art Installation Using Feng Shui
By Genie Davis
Closing reception March 19th 2-5pm
At Shoebox Projects through March 19th, artist Karrie Ross presents “Got Shui? A Moment with Karrie Ross” Her residency, which concludes with a Q&A performance, presents the concepts of Feng Shui and the Five Elements. Visitors will experience 10 chairs in an interactive Feng Shui energy Ba-gua map, and will discuss changing the energy of a space.
Ross has employed that energy changing tool in her installation itself. Color coordinated cloth flags hang from the ceiling to create a flow that is representative of the Ba-gua. A calmness and openness pervades the re-designed room. It’s fascinating to enter, and within the peaceful space discuss how to create flow in one’s own life. Beautifully painted chairs and plain chairs are positioned to represent the elements. And talk about a positive energy flow: the painted chairs will be auctioned/offered for purchase online, with donations going to the ACLU.
Over the course of her residency, Ross explains, “I made myself available to do an actual reading of others’ spaces. Within the structure of this residency, this is an example of a public community project,” she adds.
“I started learning Feng Shui in 1997,” Ross relates. “Feng Shui is about intention, awareness and action, it’s like going down a stream, and you want to place or remove the rocks to create the desired flow, like the way a beaver builds a dam.”
Part of the interactive activity at the “Got Shui?” residency is for participants to choose lovely multi-colored squares painted by the artist that speak to them. These represent a particular element. The Five Elements; wood, fire, earth, metal, and water can enhance or destroy each other.
Explaining the Five Elements, the Ba-gua formation in which the chairs are positioned and what each represents — the yin and yang chairs are in the center — Ross describes improving flow to participants’ work and living space, clothing color choices, even what certain fabrics represent.” Working with paper diagrams, Ross offers Feng Shui solutions and solutions for participants.
“I feel like the purpose of this installation is to help people be more aware of the energy around them,” Ross notes. “Each element has its own specific traits, colors, kinetic line, etc., she at times suggests for better relatedness, that in some ways it’s liken to astrology.”
A Los Angeles native, Ross has an extensive body of work from paintings, sculptures, to installations. The current project was created as an example of the energy concepts of Feng Shui that have been in her life for over thirty years. “I thought it would be fun not only for me but for the residents of the Brewery campus and other visitors to learn more about energy flow,” she relates. “The concepts of Feng Shui and energy balancing affect my life and work, like a form of living meditation, a balancing. When I go into the studio to work, I tend to create an energy bubble/meditation that allows me to enter into the pieces of art I’m creating.”
Noting that energy is a language all its own, Ross is currently exploring process, chemistry, wait-and-see aspects in “The Nature of Flow” series. Ross says “I get the feeling that to some extent it is my way of relating to and addressing California’s drought and water in general. It’s one of those things that sit on your shoulder or in the back of your head, and your mind kind of registers it. Acrylic is water soluble and this causes chemistry aspects that fascinate me.”
The artist often works through one series or body of work for three or four years, producing twenty or thirty paintings a year. “I’ve been slowly exploring residencies and installations, searching for ways that I can participate on a community level,” she says. Ross believes the take-away that visitors get from her installation is a better connection to their space and personal energy. “That was fun,” she adds.
Of her work at Shoebox Projects, Ross asserts “I wanted to create a safe place for people to experience how energy affects our lives and the Feng Shui concepts. I see people nodding in understanding as I talk. Doing the project has opened me to the community of the Brewery and sharing energy patterns. The interest participants have in this work and asking questions about the installation itself showed me that the concept of the project was compelling—and for me, a finished piece of art needs to be compelling to bring out its magic and extraordinary whimsy—this installation succeeds at that.”
Residency visitors will have access to a link on Karrie’s fb event project page to download a pdf copy of the “Got Shui? Tips,” a book to enjoy on the subject. A print version is available on Amazon.
Feel the energy on the final day of the participatory installation, March 19th from 2 to 5 p.m. Facebook Event
that’s not really what I’d call art. I know that’s my opinion and it sounds judgmental but I only see this exhibit as “artsy.”