In this video from MOCA TV, Brooklyn-based street artist Caledonia Curry “Swoon” discusses her latest project, Konbit Shelter, which was intended not only to build structures, but also a sense of community.
It was in spending so much time doing wheatpaste prints that Swoon realized how important it was to her that her art engage with the community. While she recognizes the value of working alone in the studio, she also loves working collaboratively and finds beauty in how people’s lives weave together through artistic processes. In the video, you’ll find her collaborating with renowned graffiti artist and 12ozBlogger Cope 2 on one of her wheatpaste projects.
After doing several collaborative projects stateside, Swoon ventured to post-earthquake Haiti in 2010 to work with a team of artists and architects on the Konbit Shelter, a community center in Bigones-Leogane. Her mission, again, was to collaborate with people and develop and on-going relationship based on a sense of community and trust. She has been working closely with the Mango Grower’s Association and together they have been using alternative building techniques to create the center. When finished, it will feature a computer lab and gallery space. Given that roughly 60% of the community members are sculptors, Swoon and her team felt it appropriate to create an environment that could showcase their talents.
Swoon is thrilled that the project has continued for so long, noting the satisfaction that comes from seeing a vision through its execution and from establishing long-lasting ties with the Bigones community. You can check out the team’s blog, which features regular updates on the project’s progression.
Watch the video to learn more about the building process and to see some of Swoon’s earlier work.
Text: Nicola Parisi