The Photographic Journey of Imagination Squared!

Imagination Squared! on exhibit at MOCA-Jacksonville, is an exemplary example of what creative collaboration can accomplish. I was privileged to be involved in the early stages, watching it grow and eventually explode onto the Jacksonville art scene. Building upon a 5×5 wooden square crafted by sculptor Dolf James, local artists add their embellishments creating unique pieces of art. Installation was precise, with each of the 910 squares purposely placed by artist Christina Foard and her team of art handlers. The result is a three dimensional canvas of individual contributions, weaved into a tapestry of color, texture, forms, and contrasts. It is a sight to behold.

My goal was to provide documentation for the project and to allow others to catch a glimpse of what it was like behind the scenes. I also wanted to record some special moments as the project unfolded. During the installation I realized the visual potential of what was happening. As we prepared the walls and began to hang the squares, the process began to reveal a visual aesthetic. Squares being processed moved through an organic flow from the floor to the walls. The blank walls began to transform, square by square, like a large puzzle discloses its secret.

On the September 1 opening night, I watched as people encountered the exhibit. From the crowded floor it was difficult to see the exhibit as a whole, and most people focused on finding individual squares. Like the squares themselves, the crowd became a uniform texture of individual personalities, forming orderly patterns in a random sort of way. There was movement and flow as the crowd moved through the squares. Here I found an interesting juxtaposition of people and art, the squares forming a static container of their creators.

Later I returned to photograph the exhibit alone, and found it to be a very different experience. Standing in quiet observation one can feel the energy of the art. Closer inspection always uncovers new discoveries. I walked around the space to view the exhibit from different view points. The MOCA atrium is a beautiful space and the exhibit formed a harmonious part of the building fabric.

Fall, 2010.