This past week, I have had the honor of creating an installation for the first ever urban dance festival in Copenhagen – Detour Urban Dance Festival held at Danse Hallerne.

With performances choreographed by Toniah Pedersen, Tine Salling, Eva Schou and her crew Werkaholics, among several others, the festival has been a fantastic success.  The show was incredible, and the atmosphere was electric.  Big props go to Sara Jordan for conceptualizing, organizing and promoting Detour and bring together such a spectacular and diverse lineup of dancers.

When Sara tapped me to do the artwork for the festival, I was absolutely thrilled to have the chance to be a part of it all.  The thing about events like Detour is that they are irresistible for several reasons.  First and foremost for me, the opportunity to do an installation in a space like Danse Hallerne is absolutely golden.  It’s easily one of the most interesting and attractive public spaces in Copenhagen.

That being said, my next reason for being so keen on this proposition is my active participation in something I like to call “the artists’ economy.”  To put it simply, where artists have need to collaborate with each other, or require the in-depth participation of an artist from another discipline to complete a project, there is a sort of unwritten code of willingness and eagerness to work hard on a small budget, if there’s a budget at all.  When another artist I respect puts the word out that they need my help, I try to answer that call.  When I need help for my projects, I can usually find someone to jump in.  And that’s the beauty of being an artist in a city like Copenhagen.  There’s a great network of creative folks who are willing to give each other a hand, and we all survive that way.  But I digress…

The work I produced is somewhat of a prototype in terms of process.  I have been excited about combining three of my favorite processes – abstract/kinetic painting, calligraphy, and stencil portraiture – in order to create a new aesthetic for my work.  My installation at Detour is exactly that, and dare I say, it is a great prelude to the works I am creating for my next solo exhibition, Dopeness: Portraits of Urban Culture.

The Detour installation is built on calligraphy as a starting point, built upon by abstraction and polished by portraits.  The finished panels were very satisfying to look at, and made a good compliment to the colors and movement of the performances in the festival.  With all that said, here are a few shots of the festival, and a look at what I made:

Big props go out to Mikkel Albrechtsen, a fantastic young artist who has interned with me at Gotham Gallery for a year.  He came through for me big time,  and I’m happy to announce that he is now having his first ever exhibition along with another one of my students, the lovely and talented Helle Poulsen. (Read more about that here.)

Thank you so much Sara Jordan for bringing me on board and giving me a chance to do what I do best for a new audience.  Thank you Toniah Pedersen, Tine Salling, Eva Schou, and all the performers in Detour for a fantastic experience.  I am looking foward to next year!

Detour Urban Dance Festival Artwork: Installation Pieces for Sale

If you are interested in the panels created for the festival,  they are currently available for bid in an online auction, right here at JuseOne.com.  There are a total of 6 pieces, each one bearing one of the letters of the word “DETOUR” among other elements of the composition.  So step right up and place your bid!  (See the sidebar to the right.)

Thanks so much, and stay tuned!