When Enough is Enough from Nyugen Smith on Vimeo.
We’ve had at least three good snow falls here in the North East, USA this winter and it’s starting to get to me. Every time it falls I think to myself, “I wish I was somewhere where on a beach feeling the sun and breeze”. Then I think of the breeze bricks. When the snow piles up on on the rail of my backyard deck, I imagine seeing the brick patterns moving across in the thin pile of snow. So today as I had the day off and it might be the last major blast, I decided to print and cut the stencil and get to work. Gold Kyrlon metallic spray paint, latex gloves, coat and boots and voilà!
Nyugen E. Smith 2014
As a collective, our group executed the project in two phases. The first phase consisted of painting and drawing breezeblocks onto watercolor paper, cutting out the forms, and assembling onto a piece of fabric for the Collage exhibition at Interlochen Center for the Arts. The exhibition was a part of a weekend program presenting visual art, classical music, and performance to students, parents, trustees, and faculty.
The second phase of the project included removing the breeze-blocks from the textile base, painting more images, and hand sewing the forms together. Additional fieldwork included locating a site on campus where students believed the breeze-blocks had a significant connection. Martinez and her class walked to the lake, forest, and cabins to find a space and narrowed it down to trees near the visual art building. The group expressed they felt connected to these specific trees since they dedicated part of their studio time working and conversing about the project there. The students also discussed the importance of visibility and believed the artwork would be accessible to the entire camp at this specific site.
Victoria Martinez is an Interdisciplinary artist and educator from Chicago, Illinois. During the summer of 2014, she participated as painting, drawing, and mixed media faculty at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Martinez led an installation and intervention course in collaboration with her students based on Christopher Cozier’s in DEVELOPMENT project. The group analyzed Cozier’s blog, installation art slides, discussed the opportunities of art intervention and co-authorship, and experimented with the breeze-block stencil inspired by the in DEVELOPMENT project.
As a graphic designer, I decided to make a font. The shapes within the block itself doubled as negative space and provided the necessary play room to build out an entire alphabet. Unique to this font, I would say are the letters: A, G, I, J and Y which are realized only through the oddly shaped shark-fin looking spaces derived from the breeze block template — a weird combination of perpendicular, diagonal and rounded edges.
As expressed by Cozier, “…these patterns represent a moment of hope and possibility (yet unfulfilled?) that we may all share.” The Breeze Brick font is one possibility I’d like to share. To view the Breeze Brick font in action and several other variations, please visit here
Kriston Chen, Trinidad
When I decided to take part in the project, it came to my mind the fact that we are surrounded by Physical Bricks and Mental Bricks.
Valerie Brathwaithe, Caracas
Looking at the brick pattern you co-opted, first, I was struck with my own familiarity with the design, and I thought to myself, “how did this design cross the Atlantic”, it looked like every other pattern I knew in the East. “Could be a Moorish-Spanish connection?, or just a design driven by the pressing need to have more air flowing through during a hot tropical summer afternoon”.
To me, the design looked like a good cousin to every brick design I have seen growing up the Red Sea port of Saukin. It bears the same genes that makes most of the mosques windows, doors and mazahah in the ancient port of Suakin. During my school years, these bricks were ubiquitously present, I would stare through a classroom window that has a similar design bricks, my family would sit in verandahs during hot afternoons that are surrounded with short walls built with the same bricks.
Thinking about your invite to dialogue with the piece and while in Istanbul, I thought let’s use the design to make Chris a prayer matte using the brick design as the smallest unit of prayer- as in a Rosary’s first bead. Then, and as good Sufi would say, we repeat the design to invite an enlightenment, as elusive as that can be.
Amir Shingray 2013
Breeze Blocks I and II were inspired by Christopher Cozier’s ‘in development’ project with a public invitation to use his tropical ‘breeze block’ pattern. At the time, I wanted to combine the aesthetics of artists who had different ‘ways of working’. The negative/positive spaces of the pattern allowed that to happen. The ‘breeze block’ repeats in a row of three, vertically. In the first two blocks of each piece, a section of a Leroy Clarke and Prabhu Singh painting was ‘borrowed’ for the negative spaces giving the illusion of seeing through to somewhere else. I introduced my own image in the third block.
When I started to work with the breeze brick pattern, it opened up a new horizon for me. I realized that the breeze brick functions as a window onto other spaces and scenes behind it.
While playing with the graphic aspects of the template, I started to use it as a keyhole view to other places, situations, rooms, people, architecture and culture. My favorite is the one with the geographic map of Trinidad/Tobago and the islands. It’s a hommage to Richard Williams who introduced me to your project.
Gabriele Teichmann-Reimer, Germany