Vibrant and materially inventive, Shinique Smith's signature bundles of tied clothing hang in MOCA Jacksonville's forty-foot-high Atrium Gallery against a backdrop of painted calligraphy and mirrored surface. Made with fabric, paint, found objects, and used clothing, "Quickening" incorporates elements of graffiti, Japanese calligraphy, and collage. The energetic patterns and rich textures conjure tactile sensations and emotional connections based on our relationship with clothing. As the cascading sculptures twirl and perform like dancers, the intersection of material, motion, and reflection creates a thought-provoking visualization about personal identity and individual style. Blossoming into the space, Smith's installation radiates energy outward to the rest of the Museum.
Because dance, choreography, and gesture are interwoven elements in Smith’s practice, "Quickening" afforded an opportunity to evolve previous dance collaborations by recruiting the talent of a local silk aerialist. In a collaboration with aerialist Tempestt Halstead of Bittersweet Studios, located in Jacksonville, Florida, The suspended bundles and painted gestures were activated with a site-specific performance as part of the members’ preview. Twirling in the space, her body became a tight-knit bundle before transitioning into a dramatic gesture, mimicking Smith’s graphic line. This routine explored how the body is as an extension of Smith’s creative process, and marks the artist’s first collaboration with an aerialist performer.