Many people compare Eirini Linardaki’s art to Rorschach tests—indecipherable at first glance yet full of meaning when examined. Her exhibition, Whattoseesottahw, in NYC’s Tompkin’s square certainly has a great deal of that ambiguous feel.
But if you ask children about the shapes, cut in negative space from painted plywood and places at child-level on fences throughout the park, and they’ll spawn stories about the abstract forms.
The pieces originated with children. In the same park, kids and their families attended workshops with Linardaki where they were encouraged to draw familiar wildlife and foliage from their surroundings. The artist mixed and mirrored those drawings, transfered them onto wood panels, and then cut them out. The artworks reveal visual references and glimpses of the park through their form and placement.
Some still have the original drawings visible. Others are painted with chalkboard paint, chalk provided so that visitors can complete the images for themselves. The exhibit’s name references the mirrored shapes of most of the installations and the artist’s intention to have viewers literally “see through” her artworks and into the local environment that inspired the work.
Linardaki, who primarily works in installations, is an internationally educated artist. She lives and works in New York and in her homeland of Crete. She designs each of her installations on site, with special attention paid to the way her art interacts with the local community.
This installation is particularly aimed at interaction with children, and to continue that interaction, she will be periodically holding workshops inside the park, expanding the installation until its end date in April 2016.
Whattoseesottahw is funded by NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program, which has provided hundreds of public art projects in NYC parks over the last 38 years.