Dreamlines and Dirt Scars
Sanctuary co-founder Carissa Clark held her senior exhibition for California College of the Arts last month. We’re excited by her upcoming return to Arcata, and the continued successes of her social practice. From Carissa:
In an evolving residency and participatory exhibition at Dream Farm Commons, an artist-run project space in downtown Oakland, artist Carissa Lillian Clark explored the history of her distant ancestor “Jack” Coffee Hays. Hays was a surveyor and among the first occupiers of Huchiun, present-day Oakland. His maps are blueprints from the origin story of today’s society, filled as it is with oppression, displacement, borders, and systemic white supremacy—where capital and property are valued above human life and the health of the land. Her work confronts the multiple interwoven histories that have brought us to this land of Huchiun, now known as Oakland, and to the present.
Using soil and materials harvested at the gravesite of “Jack” Coffee Hays, she painted an 80-foot canvas with imagery from historical maps and built evolving sculptures that questioned how memory is stored in landscape. Over many weeks, the artist painted a map of present day Oakland on the gallery’s tall storefront windows. Visitors looked through the lines of the map to see the installation inside, and were invited to write responses on slips of paper to be added to the map: What do you dream for the future of this land? What do you demand for the future of this city?
photos by Colin Peck