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project 14: Hope Blossoms by Kelly O'Brien
Saturday, December 8, 2012 - June, 2013
Huntington Mall, Barboursville, WV

We are excited to return to the Huntington Mall in Barboursville, WV bringing back another large-scale installation created by Germany based artist, Kelly O'Brien.

The installation is made primarily out of paper; over 8000 paper flowers make up the beautifully elegant swan dancer. The tree will be filled with handmade cherry blossoms inspired by the artist’s hometown of Washington, D.C.

The Huntington Mall's Believe Campaign theme of Hope inspired Kelly O’Brien’s vision for this installation. As a classically trained dancer, O’Brien draws ideas from ballet. This piece is based on Swan Lake’s Odette and Odile, who embody the dichotomy of white and black, light and dark. Yet inside each of us exists a little bit of both. We are complex changing beings, not simply good or bad.

O’Brien’s work explores a more nuanced approach: thinking in shades of gray, reflected in the swan dancer’s costume. What if there were more options than all or nothing, yes or no, win or lose? What if we had a range of options for happiness, or to solve the big problems?

Black or white thinking does not foster understanding. O’Brien’s belief is that a more thoughtful, openhearted approach will take us further. While spring, embodied in the Japanese cherry tree, is a time of new growth, this installation is a reminder that hope blossoms year-round.

Kelly O’Brien
Paper sculpture, dance, and dresses - these are the hallmarks of Germany-based artist Kelly O’Brien’s work. A former ballet dancer and now mixed media artist, O’Brien feels most alive when filling spaces with paper-based installations that suggest a sense of movement and grace.
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