On a quiet street off a cobblestone road, just blocks away from the East River, enter a warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Guests are instructed to wear a hospital bracelet and surrender their belongings to an attendee. Shoes must be taken off and are replaced with a pair of white socks printed with an ambiguous black inkblot image split across the bridge of the foot. You have been admitted into the Rorschach psychology ward.
A white bouncer maze resembling a psychiatric ward awaits. The set piece invites a recreational experience and mental examination of art. The artist’s team explains, “Guests will navigate through a 3,000 square foot bounce house that features padded walls and floors to feel like an old-school insane asylum. The bounce house was created to reflect the art as a juxtaposition of children’s playtime and the clinically insane.”
Run around, hop through, or simply just sit and hang out in the bounce house. Exploring the halls leads one a room unlike any other. Wherein lives the collection of Hendry’s artworks mounted on padded walls. Glossy shapes of inkblot paintings created not by stain but by illustration inspire perception. From a fusion of color (marigold, maroon, cerise, pine) and form (cylinder, swirls and linear shape), the mind identifies and discerns. I see a winged insect and a tribal mask among the collection.
The opportunity for her illustrations to become interactive is Hendry’s desire for Rorschach. Responses are entertained and inquisitive to the definitive structure of realism art. In this exhibit, her illustrations are more than realistic images of Rorschach tests; rather, they are visions from the imagination. See what you must, analyze the conviction in distinguishing imagery, Cj Hendry, the artist and brains behind the installation, shares her perspective in this interview.