Bushwick, Brooklyn – Artist Carlton Scott Sturgill brings an ambitious site specific installation featuring hundreds of handmade roses to Norte Maar for Bushwick Open Studios, June 6 + 7, 2015.
In conjunction with Norte Maar and with a little help from the public, Sturgill will create Branded Rose – Bushwick (Yellow), the most ambitious project by the artist to date that will cover over thirty feet of fencing in front of Norte Maar in Bushwick.
Ever since I began making art, I’ve been interested in how our perception of the people and objects around us can shift as we view them from different distances. From across the street, Branded Rose will look like an ordinary rose bush, but if you take the time to investigate farther you’ll discover that the roses are actually made from fabric. Upon closer inspection the curious viewer will see petals with plaid and striped patterns, and perhaps even a Ralph Lauren Polo logo. Discoveries like these have the ability to bring joy to a monotonous daily commute, to inspire people to look at their surroundings in a new way, or show them that artwork can exist anywhere and be made from any material.
Last year, with the support of the New York City Department of Transportation, Sturgill presented Bridge of Flowers installing two floral sculptures handmade from button-down Ralph Lauren shirts on chain-link fences along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. “The response from residents of the neighborhood was so overwhelmingly positive,” says Sturgill, “that I want to once again bring artwork out of the gallery space and into the community.”
An artwork like this requires lots of materials and dozens of hours of work. The fabric for each flower and leaf comes from second-hand Ralph Lauren button-down shirts that I source from thrift stores. After disassembling the shirts, the fabric is treated with glue and cut with a custom-made fabric die. I then hand make each rose using aluminum wire, green duck take and fabric glue. The final installation will contain between 600 and 800 of these handmade flowers and twice as many 5-leaf leaflets. While it is by far the most elaborate work that I’ve ever attempted, last year’s project in Gowanus allowed me to create a working process for large scale sculptures. I’m looking forward to tackling such a challenging work.
Branded Rose is a project that with the generosity of the public will determine the size of the final work. “The more you give, the larger I can make the installation,” explains Sturgill,”The first $2,500 raised will go to pay for the bare minimum of materials to create, transport and install a floral sculpture that will stretch along the majority of the fence in front of Norte Maar. But my ultimate goal is to cover the entire 36 feet fence!” Any additional funding will go to purchase the extra materials required for an installation of that size and additional custom-made cutting dies to speed the production process. Additional funds will also allow Sturgill to hire a studio assistant to help construct the hundreds of handmade flower and leaf set we’ll need for the sculpture.
I’ve teamed up with Norte Maar to create some great perks for donors to the project, including a signed 8 X 10 digital image of the installation, an edition of ten signed and numbered yellow roses, and the first five people to donate $500 will receive a large rose, complete with a RL Polo logo, encased in a vintage 1950s Lewis P. Weil glass globe terrarium. And every donor that gives over $125 will receive a VIP invitation to Norte Maar’s dance party to kick off Bushwick Open Studio in June. And since Hatchfund if a charitable, non-profit organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
Carlton Scott Sturgill would like to thank Norte Maar for their encouragement and support, and Alcantaresque for the use of their wonderful song “Remind Me La Vie En Rose” through Creative Commons agreement. You can find and download the entire song for free on SoundCloud. Most of all I would like to thank all of you for helping to make Branded Rose – Bushwick (Yellow) a reality. I look forward to keeping you updated on the project on my website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram at SturgillArt.