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The series “Between Boundary and Communion” began with a public project in which the artist quilted an iron fence between fabric, at a busy corner on Chicago’s south side, while constructing this work, its unforeseen implications as a privacy fence became apparent, transforming the surface that is usually transparent and permeable to one cloaked. This experience, and watching a building near them be demolished, encased in chain-link rentable fences with opaque fabric screens, Kennedy became increasingly interested in boundary spaces of public and private property. These membranes, both permanent and temporary isolate us from the internal lives of our neighbors, as well as shroud space with curiosity.

Kennedy takes on these themes with the objects of protection at their center. Works in this exhibition hand sew window security bars, window frames, security gates and fences into fabrics that are printed by the artist with natural dyes. This labor forward and time-consuming practice is commonplace to Kennedy’s work, stitching an object into fabric both holds it tight and shrouds it, in a practice between archive and burial.

The work references architectural details as well as painting and surface design. In historic painting the use of curtains highlights what is revealed or concealed. The use of trompe-l’oeil,  (optical illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface) in art history relate to both these illusions of space, and architectural details like window and doorframes. By bringing the membrane and materiality of these portals to the forefront “Between Boundary and Communion” looks to foster conversations about the spaces we occupy and what aspects of safety may be illusionary.

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