The Bombay Art Project is officially live in Vancouver at Yaletown Station, featuring a sculptural installation by Ben Z Cooper titled Effervescent Dream. Running until August 24, the installation will invite people to look up and perceive the world through a lens that constantly refracts and bends reality, creating a dreamy and peaceful atmosphere. The work was inspired in part by a classic gin and tonic as the installation takes on a feeling of being fully immersed in a fresh, bubbly cocktail. We chatted with curator Ashley McKenzie-Barnes about the project. —Noa Nichol
Hi Ashley! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I’m a creative director, curator and academic professor that has been building creative campaigns, installations, exhibitions and experiences for the last 17-plus years. I have worked with a wide range of clients and projects that include the likes of Lauryn Hill, Colin Kaepernick, JR, Snoop Dogg, Universal Music, TEDx, Sabian and many others. I recently launched D.PE Agency and DPE Sho Art Foundation, that focus on how to be more reflective of diverse creative communities.
Please tell us about The Bombay Art Project, Ben Z Cooper and Effervescent Dream.
Using a canopy of 3-4′ round lenticular panels, “Effervescent Dream” is an overhead installation that pulls the focus up from our linear tasks. Incorporating custom AR components, “Infinite Garden” and ‘Reflect and Retract’, engage audiences to use their imagination with ever-evolving filters that generate new ways of perceiving your surroundings.
What was the inspiration behind this piece? What does it aim to convey to/evoke within those who view it?
Ben’s installation invites viewers to look up and experience the world through a lens that constantly refracts and bends reality—creating a dreamy, peaceful atmosphere. It encourages connectivity to nature, community and the outdoors, as we’ve been in isolation for long periods of time. The intentionally placed benches allow people to relax, and sit or lay down and experience a sense of calmness and tranquillity as they take a moment of reflection. Botanical filled are inspired by the Bombay Sapphire-inspired experience and add an additional sense of play, exploration and connection to nature.
When and where can we experience The Bombay Art Project?
On the Yaletown grounds, in Vancouver, B.C.
Personal question: do you have a fave Bombay Sapphire cocktail?
The classic Bombay Sapphire and Tonic, obviously!