BK artist Swoon’s “submerged Motherlands” installation at the Brooklyn Museum features a high-altitude reflection on climate change

Very unofficially dubbed “BK Banksy” by your magazine staff, the artist Swoon has been making a quiet but growing name for herself, principally for often oversized and always intricately cut prints, wheatpasted to industrial buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In a dramatic leap from quiet city corners to the Brooklyn Museum, however, the Pratt Institute graduate (whose real name is Caledonia Dance Curry) has been offered a commission that takes advantage of the Eastern Parkway gem’s expansive rotunda for an installation titled “Submerged Motherlands.”

An improvisational landscape of figurative prints and drawings, cut paper foliage, and wooden boats and rafts, the work is crowned by a 60-foot sculpted tree. At least in part a reference to the practical and emotional challenges created by climate change, the installation was recognized immediately by Managing Curator of Exhibitions Sharon Matt Atkins as a fascinating opportunity.

“I think back to the time [Swoon] and I were looking together at spaces in the museum,” Matt Atkins recalled. “When she looked up into the dome of the rotunda, I could see her mind racing immediately—processing all of the possibilities.”

Not least because she is a borough-based artist, the museum had been following her work for some time.

“Swoon is someone who creates work that is accessible and celebrates the everyday,” Matt Atkins added. “In this particular installation, her reflection on climate change is particularly timely, as it ties into our other exhibitions this spring that relate to activism and the way art can inspire change.”



“Submerged Motherlands”
April 11–August 24, 2014
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th fl.
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Pkwy. / brooklynmuseum.org