Complimentary Colors

New York City artist Cj Hendry has designed “a psych ward mimicked as a children's wonderland" for an art exhibit in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighbourhood titled Rorschach. Hendry's project occupies a 3000-square-foot warehouse that showcases artworks she developed in reference to the Rorschach psychological test, which records and analyses a person's perception of inkblots. 


Drawing on this, Hendry designed the stark white space to evoke the aesthetic of insane asylums, with a playful touch. While the large inflatable looks like a children's bouncing castle, its padded white walls and floors also take cues from those found in psychiatric institutes. This artwork is actually far more psychological and sinister, and its showcased in a naive way but far more sinister in concept. It was sewn specially for the exhibition over 12 months, and visitors must bounce their way through the labyrinthine maze. 


The bounce house was cut and sewn to fit the Dumbo space using six blowers. It measures 14 feet (four metres) tall with various nooks and pillars inside, and can accommodate up to 100 people at a time. To complete the psych ward experience, viewers are provided with a white wristband upon entering, as if they are admitted to the Rorschach Psychological Institute.


The artworks are inspired by children’s symmetrical ‘squish paintings’, created by painting half a sheet of paper and folding it in half to form its mirror image involves placing wet paint on one half of a piece of paper, folding it to cover it, and then unfolding it to reveal a symmetrical work of art. "It's a psych ward mimicked as a children's wonderland with squish paintings and bouncing castles," Hendry said.

Rorschach by Cj Hendry is on show from 10 to 21 April 2019 at Plymouth Street in Downtown Brooklyn.


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