Experience Sarah E. Brook’s monumental multimedia installation, The Need You Know It Is A Letting Light, from October 15, 2022 – April 16, 2023 at the Lena Horne Bandshell, Presented by BRIC and Prospect Park Alliance, in partnership with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program.
The Need You Know It Is A Letting Light is a set of three abstract wooden sculptures and an accompanying mural that together expand the artist’s exploration of communication between external and internal psychic space. The mural’s colors of red, yellow, and green are sourced from the natural beauty of Prospect Park, and both draw viewers in from the park and radiate out from the Bandshell and stage into the park, reflecting the function of a bandshell to expand voices. The repurposed wood sculptures respond to the colors of the mural, expressing warm-hued shadows that appear to be held within. The sculptures’ material communicate their singularity through wear – a crooked nail, an empty hole, a worn edge – and in its gentle leaning formation, allows for the sculptures to be read as bodies supporting one another.
Sculptural abstraction, for Brook, is based on a commitment to create spaces for queer, gender non-conforming, and trans folks to experiment with embodied perception, encouraging and affirming a multisensory experience of being whole in the world. Their geometric sculptural forms utilize salvaged wood that both contains the history and identity of each particular piece and expands that singularity outward through painted gradients. They communicate the possibility of a selfhood that can be known and shared, and is, in fact, capable of moving beyond the confines of a body and environment.
Specificity for Brook is key to the possibility of vastness – it is not by leaving the particular self behind, but by moving deeply into the exact needs, desires, and knowings of that self that creates a path toward perceiving a wider world of creatively expanded possibilities. The specific and the infinite are intimately entwined. Brook’s relationship to expanding space is both personal as well as contextual, formed by the world around us. Nature, for Brook, is often a muse for testing out these possibilities, and the New York City park system has become a site for many of their interventions in space. Their understanding of expansiveness is influenced by their childhood in the Nevada desert as well as pioneering land and light artists of the Western United States Nancy Holt, Larry Bell, and Agnes Martin.
The Need You Know It Is A Letting Light is presented by BRIC and Prospect Park Alliance, in partnership with NYC Parks.