An installation at the Clinton House Artspace, Ithaca NY, January 2002
In this innovative and unique construction, artist Pete Rush challenges the viewer by presenting a comprehensive environment–a space in which to immerse oneself, engage with, and consume. For the artist, the installation describes universal nesting tendencies, materialistic escape, and a personal artistic haven. The artist weaves an environment out of his signature cardboard quilts, fabrics, strings, and discarded, forgotten materials. The viewer enters into a room within a room, one that is literally woven together with works of art and recycled materials. "I have been playing with the notion of art as my escape, my refuge from the stressful, maddening world," says Rush. "This installation takes that sense literally by becoming a nest-like womb that is constructed of the elements of my artwork itself. It is a very personal expression, but one that I am sure will resonate with a larger, more universal need inside everyone." Within the gallery walls Rush has constructed a timber framed building, whose walls and ceiling are comprised of framed cardboard quilts mixed with other strings and materials. One wall features an interactive mesh grid, in which the viewer is invited to add his or her own found material, weaving together a cacophony of materials and expressions in an ever changing group collaboration, In this way, Life's discarded mess thereby turns the artist's refuge into everyone's refuge.