Sophie Parker: Kites
June 9-10 & June 16-17
536 Beach 72nd, Far Rockaway, NY 11692
One summer in Poughkeepsie, Sophie Parker and her sister Caiti came across a man who gave them an old hot air balloon. Parker started cutting the fabric, incorporating the pieces into her work, along with steel and the leaves from tropical trees. Through the heavens, she discovered a connection in the materials—we often think of flora in terms of the earth it grows out of, rather than the sky it reaches toward. The balloon could take us where the trees dream.
Parker bridges the gap between earth and sky with her kite sculptures. They range in construction, from pieces of the outworn hot air balloon, metal, organic materials, plants specially handpicked and flown in from a farm in Hawaii, to stones locally sourced from the Rockaways. Like big sails or giant, fluttering leaves, the kites are in constant conversation with the wind, suggesting lift-off and promising us the sky. They honor the tension between heavy and light, land and firmament—often impossible, their flight is a precarious covenant.
For two weekends, Parker is taking over Life Lessons Garage with an installation of her kite sculptures. As with most things in a garage, such as cars or boats, her kites are imbued with dazzling potential energy—objects resting, waiting for the journey they were built for. Over the solid concrete floor of the garage, she will also be building new kites with you, with the hope that we will all stroll down to the beach together, and give our beautiful creations the airborne deliverance they deserve. Come breeze with us.
Sophie Parker was born in the Ozark Mountains (1987) and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, where she established her own botanical design studio called WIFE, and is the a co-founder of the Fruit Exchange Studios. Parker received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York (2016). Her work has been shown at the Satellite Art Fair, Miami; the Living Gallery, Brooklyn; Museo De Los Sures, Brooklyn; Space Heater Gallery, Brooklyn; and the Hole, New York.