Collaborative piece with Bertie Sampson for World Trade Gallery, NYC.
69th floor, 4 World Trade Center - 2016
We were kindly invited by The World Trade Gallery to take part in the Towers to Streets project, commemorating the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. On the north wall, 69th Floor of the World Trade Center 4, we were given free roam to create something that reflected the events of 911 as well as the sights and sounds of the city below us, and at the same time paying homage to the culture of Graffiti that started in NYC. Together Bertie and I have worked on mapping illustration projects in the past but this one really challenged us logistically and conceptually.
Due to the nature of the project we thought it necessary to construct something beautiful and dynamic, something that inspired light in a dark place while being respectful of such a sensitive time for so many in the local community. I spent 5 days painting prior to Bertie arriving in NYC. The final design was influenced by the vast towering buildings surrounding the site we were painting and the huge expanse surrounding me alone in the space, so high up in air. I also looked back to what really stayed in my mind from that day so many years ago and the ginormous thundering clouds of debris that erupted as the towers came down was so unlike anything I had ever seen, I had to include them.
We began mapping upon Bertie’s arrival and this is when the project really came to life. To see the piece in the daytime in its own, and see it in the evening as the sun set, casting vast throws of warm orange light combining with the projection. Then, transitioning into its purest form as the night set in, It reminded me of how such a tragedy will remain a part of the cities collective conscious forever, despite changes that are bound to ensue with time. It was an honnor and a privilege seeing it beautiful and deliberate. A reflection of the sprawling streets and the people below who weave the fabric of New York City.