Sandbag Relief- an art project sprouts new thinking.

My previous opinions of the sandbag barricade included thoughts of battle defense, disaster relief and emotional metaphors. Despite such rooted associations, lebanese-born artist, Mona Hatoum has succeeded in rewiring my subconscious. Her ‘hanging garden’ consists of 770 jute sacks, stacked uniform at head level forming a 10 meter long wall. The sacks are filled with seeds and the appropriate medium to enable mass sprouting – greening the wall, and inciting a fresh image of growth. A successful piece of art in my mind because my previous negative connotations of this image have been transmuted. Next time I view a barricade I won’t think ‘disaster,’ instead I’ll be reminded of this piece and think, ‘new life’ like the resilience and fortitude of young grass emerging from the blown out embers of a forest fire.

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